On the Problem of Scarcity

Pál GERVAI, László TRAUTMANN

Abstract


A radical change had occurred in the definitionof the economics in Central and Eastern Europeat end of the 80’s. Since then, the theoreticaleconomists focused their attention on the conceptof scarcity. This shift was strongly connected tothe theoretical turn that pointed from the politicaleconomics towards the economics in the Westernsense. In the paper, firstly, we argue that eventhe definition of the economics in the Westernsense was not always attached to the concept ofscarcity, and the scarcity was part of the economicthinking only in the 20thcentury. Secondly, weemphasize that the adaptation of the economicsin the Western sense cannot be successful inCentral and Eastern Europe based merely on theconcept of scarcity. The scarcity, and particularlyits Central and Eastern European interpretationwill not promote the adaptation of the Westernmanagerial culture, on the contrary, it preservesthe bad technical-managerial traditions whoseliquidation was the real sense of the transition.Finally, we make a suggestion for a new approachof the definition of the economics due to the abovementioned. The examination of the philosophicalbasis of the economic thinking is an indispensablepart of this approach. Our standpoint is that theeconomics - as every science - has its ownphilosophical basis, and dealing with this basis isthe integral part of the theoretical economics. Theeconomics of Central and Eastern Europe has acertain tradition that banks on it and this can be thecomparative advantage of the economic researchundertaken in this paper. The rebirth of the politicaleconomy in this sense is a perceptible tendencyin the region.


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