Social forces are important determinants of how people behave, how economies work at the macroeconomic level, and the effectiveness of economic policies. However, this dimension is generally overlooked in mainstream economics. How Social Forces Impact the Economy demonstrates that a broader conception of social economics provides for a better understanding of how economies work as a whole. This book argues that adopting a truly social approach to economics opens the door to studying how people form preferences, and how they learn by taking cues from others about how to behave and what to consume. Each chapter contributor works to highlight the breadth of new insights and possibilities that emerge from a fuller understanding of social economics. Part I focuses on microeconomics, bringing individual behaviors and individual entrepreneurs into a more social context. Part II focuses on macroeconomic topics, such as how money and quasi-monies (like Bitcoins) are social, how money developed as a social institution, and how social forces matter for economic development. Finally, Part III looks at the consequences of considering social factors when it comes to policy: environmental policy, industrial policy, and policies promoting greater equality. This book is invaluable reading to anyone interested in the relationship between economics and sociology, how social forces affect policy effectiveness, human behavior, and the overall economy.

chapter 1|14 pages


Putting the social back into economics
BySteven Pressman

part I|63 pages

Individual behavior

chapter 2|23 pages

Becker’s two models of social interaction

ByRoss Tippit

chapter 3|19 pages

Greed, need, and solidarity

The socialization of Homo economicus
ByRoger D. Johnson

chapter 4|19 pages

The burden of knowledge and Schumpeter’s innovation

ByAustin Landini

part II|55 pages

Macroeconomics and money

chapter 5|16 pages

Money as a social institution

Its historical emergence and political implications
ByAnn E. Davis

chapter 6|21 pages

A closer look at the promise of the blockchain in banking and biobanking

ByValérie Racine, Anita Dancs

chapter 7|16 pages

When the cultural argument goes too far

The need to limit particularism and welcome convergence on socially progressive goals
ByAnna Klimina

part III|92 pages

Policy issues

chapter 8|29 pages

Industrial policy and societal goals

A new look at the American case (from Hamilton to Obama and Trump)
ByMarco R. Di Tommaso, Mattia Tassinari, Andrea Ferrannini

chapter 9|38 pages

Relational determinants of international environmental cooperation

A panel analysis
ByMimi Houston

chapter 10|23 pages

Explaining inequality

Facts are no longer enough
ByDell Champlin, Janet Knoedler