Table of Contents

The Elgar Companion to Social Economics, Second Edition

The Elgar Companion to Social Economics, Second Edition

Edited by John B. Davis and Wilfred Dolfsma

Social economics is a dynamic and growing field that emphasizes the key roles social values play in the economy and economic life. This second edition of the Elgar Companion to Social Economics revises all chapters from the first edition, and adds important new chapters to reflect the expansion and development of social economics. The expert contributions explain a wide range of recent developments across different subject areas and topics in the field, mapping out possible directions of future social economic research. Social economics treats the economy and economics as embedded in a web of social and ethical relationships. It considers economics and ethics as essentially connected, and adds values such as justice, fairness, dignity, well-being, freedom, and equality to the standard emphasis on efficiency. This book will be a leading resource and guide to social economics for many years to come.

Social economics: introduction to the second edition

John B. Davis and Wilfred Dolfsma

Subjects: business and management, business ethics and trust, economics and finance, institutional economics, methodology of economics, public sector economics, social policy and sociology, economics of social policy


The success and attention received by the first 2008 edition of The Elgar Companion to Social Economics – including a 2009 Choice American Library Association Outstanding Academic Title – led us to discuss with our publisher Edward Elgar a second edition. In this second edition, many of the chapters from the first are significantly revised and new chapters have been added on Teaching and learning in economics, Cooperatives, Provisioning and Workplace democracy. These new and revised chapters deepen and expand the distinct understanding and vision that social economics brings to reflection on the social dimensions of economic life. In many respects, this new edition constitutes a response to what has happened in the world economy since the first edition. Indeed the first edition appeared right at the beginning of the financial crisis and the Great Recession, the consequences of which are still with us. The breakdown in markets and society that occurred was a clear demonstration that conventional economic thinking is inadequate to explain the world we live in. As of today, reduced living standards and stagnant economies continue to burden many people across the world with no end in sight, social and economic inequality continues to widen, and governments seem even less responsive to the everyday issues people face. What is painfully missing from what most economists and policy makers recommend for the future is any kind of social perspective on how well-functioning economies depend on the well-being of people.