The economy as a socially constructed object in the regulationnist and the Social Market Economy analyses

Vol. 37 No. 1 (2017)

Jan-Mar / 2017
Published February 26, 2020
PDF-Portuguese (Português (Brasil))
PDF-Portuguese (Português (Brasil))

How to Cite

Bruno, Miguel, and Ricardo Caffe. 2017. “The Economy As a Socially Constructed Object in the Regulationnist and the Social Market Economy Analyses”. Brazilian Journal of Political Economy 37 (1):23-44.

The economy as a socially constructed object in the regulationnist and the Social Market Economy analyses

Miguel Bruno
Professor pesquisador do Programa de Pós-Graduação em População, Território e Estatísticas Públicas da ENCE-IBGE.
Ricardo Caffe
Professor pesquisador do Programa de Pós- Graduação em Economia - Universidade Federal da Bahia- PPGE/UFBA,
Brazilian Journal of Political Economy, Vol. 37 No. 1 (2017), Jan-Mar / 2017, Pages 23-44


This paper discusses the ontological arguments in favor of a methodological approach that recognizes the specific characteristics of economic phenomena, compared with those found in inorganic and organic systems. Their epistemological position is anti-positivist and anti-neoclassical because it rejects the attempt to analyses the socio-economic system by analogy with the physical and biological systems. In fact, this is a methodologic mistake, which occurs since the birth of Economic Science with the Phy siocracy. These physicalist and organicist views contributes to weaken the heuristic, explanatory and predictive ability of the economic theories. To explore this issue, the present paper starting with a comparative analysis of the Regulation theory and the Social Market Economy, theoretical currents where the concept of the institution and the historicity inherent in the production and distribution relationships are considered central. Unlike the objects of Physics and Biology, whose regularities and processes were not originally created by the human praxis, the economic object is socially and politically constructed and must have therefore specific theoretical and methodological status. Consequently, the relevance of the theories in the face of the observed economic regularities cannot be achieved by an axiomatic approach that makes the economy an essentially logical-deductive science and ahistorical by construction, nor the assumption of the existence of invariant general laws, purely economic and inescapable.

JEL Classification: A11; B1; B2; B4; B5.


Keywords: Methodology epistemólogo of Economic science Regulation theory social market economy institutionalist analysis