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.

Introduction to the first 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 goal of this Companion to Social Economics is to highlight the salient themes and leading ideas of contemporary social economics, particularly as they have been broadly developed in recent research, and as they are likely to contribute to and influence social economics and social economic policy in the future. The last two decades have seen a significant increase in social economics scholarship that has built on earlier foundations (cf. Lutz and Lux, 1988; Lutz, 1990a; Waters, 1993; O’Boyle, 2005), taken new directions, and expanded the horizon of social economics. This Companion emphasizes these more recent contributions in order to bring together in one place the fundamental themes and variety of approaches that motivate this new work. Social economics, it should be emphasized, has always included a wide range of perspectives and strategies, and indeed many contributors have multiple theoretical orientations and commitments (cf. Dugger, 1977; Lutz, 1990a; Samuels, 1990). This makes a volume such as this one much needed as it not only demonstrates new cross-connections and linkages between often very different types of research, but also makes it possible to see the changing shape of social economic investigation as a whole. Social economics has two related domains of investigation.

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