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The Power of the Provisioning Concept

By Eran Binenbaum

Abstract

This paper supports the conception of economics as the social science that studies provisioning processes. Conceptions of economics help us understand the history of economic thought and have methodological, theoretical, policy and strategic significance. When economists are careful to define their discipline without committing ourselves a priori to particular assumptions, methods and theories, but as merely focusing on a class of phenomena, then the result is a more thoughtful and richer economics. The 'natural' choice for this class of phenomena is provisioning systems, because we want to understand as fully as possible the systems that nurture us– meaning that we ought to be interested in monetary and non-monetary mechanisms, self-interest as well as altruism, perfect rationality as well as quasi-rationality, exchange as well as gift relationships, etc., all as part of one discipline.provisioning, definition of economics, economic methodology, history of economic thought, scarcity, comparative paradigms in economics

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