Mickael Melki, "Ideology in Economics: Taking Stock, Looking Ahead", October 2011

The present article studies the evolution of the concept of ideology in economics. It proposes an analysis of the different approaches of this notion supplied by economists and the underlying research programs and theoretical debates. For that, it uses a bibliometric analysis based on 246 articles published in 45 top-ranked economics journals on the period 1920-2010. Besides providing evidence that this concept has been more and more studied by economists, it shows that a substantial part of the discipline converged towards four main approaches and research questions at different times. Taking stock of the treatment of ideology in economics also turns out to be an opportunity to emphasize the evolution of the whole discipline and especially of the standard behavioral model of homo œconomicus. While the economic literature most often took part in theoretical debates opened by other disciplines, the economic discipline also adopted a rather original approach of ideology and contributed to the understanding and the shaping of this concept in social sciences.