Date of this Version
Colllins, Brandon (2023). Economic Policy for the Restoration of Balance: A Metaeconomic Analysis of Neoliberal Contradictions. Undergraduate Honors Thesis. University of Nebraska - Lincoln.
Neoliberal Capitalism has been the dominant economic ideology in recent decades, guiding policies and practices worldwide. However, there is growing empirical evidence of Neoliberal policies' contribution worsening to social inequality, economic instability, and environmental degradation. Despite these adverse outcomes, mainstream Microeconomics upholds neoliberalism as a rational and efficient framework for understanding and organizing economic activity.
This thesis aims to analyze Neoliberal policy outcomes using the Metaeconomics framework presented in Lynne (2020), challenging the assumptions and methodologies of mainstream economics. In particular, it presents the Dual Interest Theory, which proposes that economic decision-making results from a joint and nonallocable Self-Interest & Other-Interest -- the individual's interest shared with society as a whole. In doing so, it creates a framework for understanding economic actors' decisions based on empirical science.
This thesis will explore the contradictions between the predictions or 'promises' of Neoliberal proponents, with the empirical evidence observed in realized outcomes. Highlighting how policies that fail to reflect the inherent dual-interested human nature generate imbalance or contradictions in the realized outcomes. In this way, Metaeconomics is a more effective framework for rationalizing the contradictions of Neoliberal policies than Neoclassical Microeconomics. The resulting analysis will provide policy recommendations to resolve these contradictions in the spirit of Metaeconomics promoting a more just & sustainable economic system.