He saw economies as evolving, complex structural entities. For those seeking to understand actual institutional malperformance reflected in impaired production stalled systemic transition, inefficient organization and/or misuse of human and material resources, Veblen suggests causal determinants to consider. Institutionalist value theory starts off with the view it is about a normative theory, but it is unclear whether they disagree with, say, the Marshallian or Walrasian accounts of the positive determination of prices. Practices of conspicuous display and conspicuous waste illustrate invidious emulation (Veblen 1964a, passim). Social change is evolutionary; social change is discretionary. Population densities ranged from. For those charged with assessment of institutional performance, he suggests public purposes that should be reflected in policy initiatives. Veblen's The Theory of the Leisure Class. Any human community may be viewed as an economic mechanism the structural fabric of which is institutional.
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Veblen's concern is to minimize the damage generated by a leisure class. A theory of social change, to be credible, must acknowledge and address this threat to the continuity and efficiency of the social and economic process. Relative success, tested by an invidious pecuniary comparison with other men, becomes the conventional end of action" (Veblen 1934, 33). It elevates invidiousness into a standard of judgment and social ordering. When invidious judgments are endemic, social dialogue is reduced to placing blame and conduct is directed to getting even. Essays in Social Value Theory. He is an agent seeking in every act the accomplishment of some concrete, objective, impersonal end. His philosophical and theoretical contributions continue to under gird and inform contemporary neoinstitutional analysis and policy (Bush 1994, 291-96). I fear that by now I will have lost many of the readers in the arcane mysteries of the history of economic thought.
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