Economics in the Future by Kurt Dopfer (eds.)

By Kurt Dopfer (eds.)

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There is a sense in which all basic processes have to be reduced to an understanding of individual reactions, or the reactions of micro units to the environment in which they operate. This suggests the possibility that an eventual increase in understanding even of macro phenomena may come about as a result of improvements in micro economic knowledge. In any event, this view forms a jumping-off point for the ideas to be sketched in this chapter. Developments in economics are, in part, a reaction to demand - demand by governments or other organs of society for knowledge on ways of solving what are believed to be pressing 54 Economics in the Future economic problems.

The product-cycle theory (5) looks interesting and might be integrated also, but their concrete elaboration requires huge quantities of data, probably increasing in the order in which the theories have 44 Economics in the Future been mentioned. The similarity-of-preferences theory (6) deals with a demand aspect; what matters seems to be simply the composition of world demand rather than whether preferences differ. C. The framework of theories to be used as the basis for policies against the destruction of the environment again will have to be interdisciplinary to a high extent.

31 The economist's way of increasing 'psychological satisfaction' is to provide more consumer goods. The fact, however, that psychological satisfaction can be derived from an identical commodity (including leisure) to various degrees does not prove the unmeasurability or subjective nature of psychological satisfaction but rather that it constitutes the relevant welfare indicator and the 'final' point of reference in a utility variable. P. S. (net national satisfactions) being an aggregation of final goods measured in units of well-being or states of consciousness.

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