Perlman's Theory and the Marginal Utility Theory

Levinson, David
July 1967
Industrial & Labor Relations Review;Jul67, Vol. 20 Issue 4, p665
Academic Journal
At the heart of late academician Selig Perelman's theory lies an element of great insight, of which Perelman himself was unaware and of sufficient merit to warrant the resurrection, reevaluation and perhaps recasting of the entire theory. In this article is presented only a recast of the theory. According to Perelman, when people are faced with an abundance of whatever it is that they want badly, which he called the opportunity, they will behave differently than they would if that same treasure were in short supply. If the opportunity is scarce, he continued, people will organize themselves in order to ration it. Whereas if the opportunity is abundant, there is no economic need for social organization, since no matter how much of the opportunity an individual appropriates for himself there is more than an adequate amount remaining for others. Although Perelman never pointed to the affinity, his theory in essence is a reinstatement in a socio-psychological context of a fundamental principle of economics when considered as a historic and rationally derived discipline.


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