Skip to main content
Economics, Biology, and Culture: Hodgson on History
  • Alexander J. Field, Santa Clara University
Document Type
Book Review
Publication Date
Emerald Publishing Limited
This book addresses what the author claims, with considerable justification, to be the foremost challenge confronting the social and behavioral sciences today: the problem of historical specificity. Hodgson poses the question by asking whether we need different theories to understand social and economic behavior in different societies at different stages of their development. He answers the question in the affirmative, and criticizes the economics profession for suggesting that there is one universal model or theory equally suited to all economies and societies at all times. He faults the profession further for no longer worrying much or conducting serious debate about this issue, a development he attributes to the eclipse and eventual demise of institutionalism and historical economics in England, Germany, and the United States.

This article is (c) Emerald Group Publishing and permission has been granted for this version to appear here. Emerald does not grant permission for this article to be further copied/distributed or hosted elsewhere without the express permission from Emerald Group Publishing Limited." - See more at:

Citation Information
Field, Alexander J. 2003. “Economics, Biology, and Culture: Hodgson on History,” Research in the History of Economic Thought and Methodology, v. 22, ed. W. Samuels (Amsterdam: Elsevier), pp. 367-392 (review essay).