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Gilleskie, Donna B. (2021). In Sickness and in Health, until Death Do Us Part: A Case for Theory. Southern Economic Journal, 87(3), 753-768.


Broadly speaking, our discipline—economics—focuses on the behaviors and interactions of households and firms, which can also be aggregated to study business cycles, government policy, and trade between countries. At its foundation is a reliance on theory (via mathematical and statistical expression) to explain the observed outcomes and optimal strategies of decisionmaking agents. While fundamentally reliant on assumptions such as perfect information, profit maximization, and rational choice, economic theory has advanced to encompass information asymmetries, altruistic behavior, elements of psychology, and even unpaid work, to name just a few of the ways in which theories of economic behavior have evolved and broadened.


Reference Type

Journal Article

Year Published


Journal Title

Southern Economic Journal


Gilleskie, Donna B.

Article Type



Gilleskie - 0000-0002-1278-7707