Economics & Sociology

ISSN: 2071-789X eISSN: 2306-3459 DOI: 10.14254/2071-789X
Index PUBMS: f5512f57-a601-11e7-8f0e-080027f4daa0
Article information
Title: Contemporary Capitalism between Human Action and Social Structure
Issue: Vol. 7, No 2, 2014
Published date: 20-05-2014 (print) / 20-05-2014 (online)
Journal: Economics & Sociology
ISSN: 2071-789X, eISSN: 2306-3459
Authors: Alessandro Morselli
Keywords: agency; structure; marxism; evolutionist-institutionalist; capitalism
DOI: 10.14254/2071-789X.2014/7-2/2
Index PUBMS: 1ede68ad-aa13-11e7-8eae-080027f4daa0
Language: English
Pages: 11-19 (9)

The agency/structure relationship is not sufficiently explained by economic theory. On the one hand, neoclassical economics does not solve the problem because it leads to the actions of the agents, within an unrealistic representation of individual behaviour and of the capitalist system’s functioning. On the other hand, the theoretical approaches that have most contributed to the analysis of capitalism such as Marxism and evolutionist Institutionalism, do not provide a complete explanation. The theoretical inadequacy is reflected in the empirical analysis: if the Marxist analysis has difficulty in interpreting the unforeseen development of capitalism in the twentieth century, the evolutionist-Institutionalist analysis fails to anticipate the centrality of conflicts between capital and labour and of the commodification of labour force in the development process. This work shows that the combination of the Marxist analysis of capitalism and of the individual action theory borrowed by evolutionist Institutionalism can provide a valid theoretical answer to the agency/structure problem and a strong support to the empirical analysis.