Metaeconomics: Tempering Excessive Greed

Updated: Jun 22

Main theme: "… greed needs to be tempered, balanced, and perhaps bounded with empathy-based ethics (p. 21)"

Book is available from several sources in both e-book and hard cover format

Also, see the journal review by Lester (2021)

Palgrave Macmillan:

Amazon and Amazon Kindle:

SpringerLink (if you are associated with a University, or other entity with a SpringerLink subscription):

Several Chapters are very readable to anyone no matter the level of formal training in economics. The entire Book is accessible to anyone with some basic understanding of Microeconomics.

On a technical note for the more advanced (economics) reader: Metaeconomics is based in dual interest theory in contrast to the single interest theory of Microeconomics. As a result, Metaeconomics is very complementary with and a great supplement to Microeconomics. Metaeconomics starts with the notion of jointness in production first proposed by Ragnar Frisch (the first Nobel Prize in Economics awardee!), with overlapping isoquants. The mathematical Metaeconomics of jointness is developed in the Appendix.

Metaeconomics introduces, for the first time (a wide and deep search of the economic literature over decades found no other development of the idea), the same notion of jointness in consumption with overlapping indifference curves. Metaeconomics proposes a set of self-interest indifference curves and a set of other (shared with others, yet internalized within the own-self) - interest curves, absolutely overlapping, nonseparable, interdependent. So, one cannot experience a gain in self-interest separate from the shared other-interest, nor can one gain in the other-interest without some affect on the self-interest.

The overall result is that the person is seen as maximizing own-interest, a balance in self&other-interest. Metaeconomics suggests that maximizing own-interest requires a bit of sacrifice in both nonseparable domains of interest in order to achieve happiness, peace, and, yes, economic efficiency. As a result, the essential need to seek balance in self&other-interest also points to the need to balance private&public-goods, and, writ large, Market&Government. Metaeconomics takes the "VS" out of Market VS Government and replaces it with "&" --- meaning each is essential to the other: Invest in both in order to achieve the kind of humane capitalism Adam Smith envisioned

Smith wrote two books: One about self-interest and the other about shared other-interest: Metaeconomics integrates the two propositions, bringing ethics --- moral sentiments --- back into play, with ethics influencing efficiency. Metaeconomics is not opposed to ethical reflection. Economic efficiency, as a MetaEcon argues (and believes Adam Smith would agree), is possible only with joint attention to the self&other(shared)-interest, Market&Government, building on the strengths of each, doing what works best.

Metaeconomics is about finding balance in Self&Other-Interest,

Right&Left-Political Economy, Market&Government

Metaeconomics gives an alternative economic framework and theory that can be used to give new insights into bringing the US Economy back onto a more balanced track --- a more balanced track meaning better balance in Self&Other(within own-self)-interest, Person&Community, Business&Community, Right&Left-Politics, Market&Government --- that works for everyone. Going to extremes crashes both the market&government, as depicted by the balance scale --- the scale of economic justice --- going too far in either direction, leading to chaos in the political economy, the weighing dishes and weights on the ground! We minimize economic injustice with good balance, with everyone having a piece of the action in the capitalism based system.

And, perhaps most importantly, Metaeconomics is built on a foundation of Science&Ethics: The former points to a thorough and relentless search for the facts while the latter points to the essential role of empathy. It is empathy that is the starting point to finding a moral and ethical system that works for everyone, represented in the shared other-interest. It is that ethics (and fact, science) based shared other-interest that must temper the ego-based self-interest, temper the arrogance of self-love, temper the excessive greed in both market&government.

So, the challenge is to find the Science&Ethics based new track, forming a new Economic Narrative --- with good balance --- which will also serve to calm the political chaos and turmoil as it relates to the Political Economy. Metaeconomics is about Tempering Excessive Greed, and so it has many applications in both Market and Government, e.g. in addressing the sense of being left behind as felt in many circles, and the main driver in the ongoing political economic chaos.

The book is about the best balance in I&We, Ego&Empathy, Self&Other (shared with others, yet still internal to the own-self) -interest, Person&Community, and, writ large, balancing Market&Government. So, consider the possibilities at:

Palgrave Macmillan:

And, for those who favor the Kindle Reader experience, it is also available through Amazon Kindle at (either as Rental, by the month, or for Buying):

Amazon Kindle:

For those of you affiliated with Universities, see the SpringerLink part of your University Library. The book is available for download (for no charge for the pdf or e-book version, in that the University is paying the subscription fee, and/or a nominal charge for a paper copy) to all faculty and students.

The SpringerLink site is --- and, just type in Metaeconomics in the Search box if it does now show here (and, other kinds of Metaeconomics are also listed as options at the SpringerLink site: See the section in Chapter 4 titled Kinds of Metaeconomics, in Lynne, 2020, to see how the various types relate to one another):


So, hopefully you find it intriguing, and, will also consider joining in taking Metaeconomics to the next level: I believe it has a huge potential. What think?


Lester, David. Review of Metaeconomics: Tempering Excessive Greed. Palgrave Macmillan, New York, Published 2020. 315 pp., eBook $89, hardcover $120, ISBN number: 978-3-030-50601-8 in Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics 91 (April 2021): 101663. Access the review through your University Library (this link for my University, but it should prompt you to go to your Library):

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