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  1. Anna Alexandrova & Robert Northcott (2013). It's Just a Feeling: Why Economic Models Do Not Explain. Journal of Economic Methodology 20 (3):262 - 267.
    Julian Reiss correctly identified a trilemma about economic models: we cannot maintain that they are false, but nevertheless explain and that only true accounts explain. In this reply we give reasons to reject the second premise ? that economic models explain. Intuitions to the contrary should be distrusted.
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  2. Paul Anand (2003). Does Economic Theory Need More Evidence? A Balancing of Arguments. Journal of Economic Methodology 10 (4):441-463.
    This article seeks to provide a characterization of theory prevalent in economics and found in many areas of social and natural science, particularly those that make increasing use of rational choice perspectives. Four kinds of theoretical project are identified in which empirical evidence plays a relatively small role in theory acceptance. The paper associates the minor role of evidence in theory formation and acceptance to a need to answer counterfactual questions and argues that is not necessarily incompatible with accounts of (...)
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  3. H. W. Arndt (1944). The Ideal Foundations of Economic Thought: Three Essays on the Philosophy of Economics. By W. Stark. International Library of Sociology and Social Reconstruction. (Kegan Paul. 1943.). [REVIEW] Philosophy 19 (73):188-.
  4. Roger E. Backhouse (2012). Economics is a Serious and Difficult Subject. Journal of Economic Methodology 19 (3):231-241.
    This paper argues that by focusing on simple problems that can be resolved by the use of simple economic logic, usually involving the assumption that agents are rational, the economics-as-fun literature inevitably distracts from more difficult problems that are harder to solve and which may need to be tackled in different ways and may create a bias towards solutions that rely on the market.
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  5. Roger E. Backhouse (1997). An 'Inexact' Philosophy of Economics? Economics and Philosophy 13 (01):25-.
  6. Gregor Betz (2006). Prediction or Prophecy? The Boundaries of Economic Foreknowledge and Their Socio-Political Consequences. DUV.
    Gregor Betz explores the following questions: Where are the limits of economics, in particular the limits of economic foreknowledge? Are macroeconomic forecasts credible predictions or mere prophecies and what would this imply for the way economic policy decisions are taken? Is rational economic decision making possible without forecasting at all?
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  7. Lawrence A. Boland (2003). Methodological Criticismvs. Ideology and Hypocrisy. Journal of Economic Methodology 10 (4):521-526.
    Milton Friedman's famous methodology essay is one of the most cited in economics literature. There was a time when it was usually cited as a prime example of positivist methodology. But since the publication of my 1979 critique of the critics of his essay, almost everyone now recognizes his essay as a prime example of what I called instrumentalism. Most economists, who when questioned about their views of methodology, will agree with Friedman's instrumentalism but only if Friedman's name is not (...)
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  8. Ivan A. Boldyrev (2011). Economic Methodology: Understanding Economics as a Science. Journal of Economic Methodology 18 (4):427-432.
  9. Marcel Boumans & Mary S. Morgan (2001). Ceteris Paribus Conditions: Materiality and the Application of Economic Theories. Journal of Economic Methodology 8 (1):11-26.
  10. Krzysztof Brzechczyn (ed.) (2009). Idealization Xiii: Modeling in History. Rodopi.
    The book reveals different dimensions of modeling in the historical sciences. Papers collected in the first part (Ontology of the Historical Process) consider different models of historical reality and discuss their status. The second part (Modeling in the Methodology of History) presents various forms of idealization in historiographic research. The papers in the third part (Modeling in the Research Practice) present various models of past reality (e.g. of Poland, Central Europe and the general history of the feudal system) put forward (...)
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  11. James M. Buchanan (2001). Game Theory, Mathematics, and Economics. Journal of Economic Methodology 8 (1):27-32.
  12. Peter Carruthers (2002). Human Nature and the Limits of Science, John Dupré. Clarendon Press, 2001, 211 Pages. [REVIEW] Economics and Philosophy 18 (2):351-385.
  13. Hsiang‐Ke Chao (2007). A Structure of the Consumption Function. Journal of Economic Methodology 14 (2):227-248.
    It is claimed in the structural realism in philosophy of science that scientists aim to preserve the true structure, represented by the equations in their models. We reinterpret structural realism as a doctrine involving representation. Proving the existence of a representation theorem secures the problem of lacking independent criteria for identification between structure and non?structure. This paper argues that a similar realist view of structure can be found in the theory of consumption in which the Fisherian framework of intertemporal choices (...)
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  14. Szu-Ting Chen (2011). Imagining the Imaginable: A Reinterpretation of the Function of Economists' Concern About Structural Isomorphism in Economic Theorizing. Journal of Economic Methodology 18 (01):53-78.
    By using a metatheoretical interpretation of the development of international trade theory as an example, I illustrate that, as is manifested in the practices of economic theorization, a theoretical representation can be decomposed into two component representations: a formal representation and a causal narrative representation. I further maintain that, with respect to both component representations, the concern of isomorphism is important in that it is the guiding idea that underlies economists' practice of identifying both an adequate formal model and a (...)
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  15. François Claveau (2011). Evidential Variety as a Source of Credibility for Causal Inference: Beyond Sharp Designs and Structural Models. Journal of Economic Methodology 18 (3):233-253.
    There is an ongoing debate in economics between the design-based approach and the structural approach. The main locus of contention regards how best to pursue the quest for credible causal inference. Each approach emphasizes one element ? sharp study designs versus structural models ? but these elements have well-known limitations. This paper investigates where a researcher might look for credibility when, for the causal question under study, these limitations are binding. It argues that seeking variety of evidence ? understood specifically (...)
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  16. Robin Cubitt (2005). Experiments and the Domain of Economic Theory. Journal of Economic Methodology 12 (2):197-210.
    This paper distinguishes the base domain of an economic theory (in which predictions are relatively unambiguous) from, respectively, the domains of intended application and of legitimate testing; it argues that the domain of legitimate testing is not generally restricted to that of intended application; and discusses the obligations on researchers imposed by a position that presumes experimental environments in the base domain of a theory to provide legitimate test, unless there is compelling reason to expect behaviour in the domain of (...)
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  17. Robin P. Cubitt, Chris Starmer & Robert Sugden (2001). Discovered Preferences and the Experimental Evidence of Violations of Expected Utility Theory. Journal of Economic Methodology 8 (3):385-414.
    The discovered preference hypothesis appears to insulate expected utility theory (EU) from disconfirming experimental evidence. It asserts that individuals have coherent underlying preferences, which experiments may not reveal unless subjects have adequate opportunities and incentives to discover which actions best satisfy their preferences. We identify the confounding effects to be expected in experiments, were that hypothesis true, and consider how they might be controlled for. We argue for a design in which each subject faces just one distinct choice task for (...)
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  18. Björn Frank (2012). Economic Page Turners. Journal of Economic Methodology 19 (3):317-327.
    Economic page turners like Freakonomics are well written and there is much to be learned from them ? not only about economics, but also about writing techniques. Their authors know how to build up suspense, i.e., they make readers want to know what comes. An uncountable number of pages in books and magazines are filled with advice on writing reportages or suspense novels. While many of the tips are specific to the respective genres, some carry over to economic page turners (...)
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  19. Till Grüne-Yanoff (2013). Genuineness Resolved: A Reply to Reiss' Purported Paradox. Journal of Economic Methodology 20 (3):255 - 261.
    This response to Reiss ?explanatory paradox? argues that some economic models might be true, and that many economic models are not intended for providing how-actually explanations, but rather how-possibly explanations. Therefore, two assumptions of Reiss? paradox are not true, and the paradox disappears.
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  20. Till Grüne‐Yanoff & Paul Schweinzer (2008). The Roles of Stories in Applying Game Theory. Journal of Economic Methodology 15 (2):131-146.
    Game?theoretic models consist of a formal game structure and an informal model narrative or story. When game theory is employed to model economic situations, the stories play a central role in interpreting, constructing and solving game structures. We analyse the architecture of game theory and distinguish between game models and the theory proper. We present the different functions of the model narrative in the application of game models to economic situations. In particular, we show how model narratives support the choice (...)
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  21. Francesco Guala (2005). Economics in the Lab: Completeness Vs. Testability. Journal of Economic Methodology 12 (2):185-196.
    Two important arguments in the methodological literature on experimental economics rely on the specification of a domain for economic theory. The first one is used by some experimenters in their skirmishes with economic theorists, and moves from the assumption that theories have (or ought to have) their domain of application written in their assumptions. The other one is used to play down the relevance of certain unwelcome experimental results, and moves from the symmetric assumption that the domain of economic theory (...)
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  22. Francesco Guala (2004). Fact and Fiction in Economics: Models, Realism and Social Construction, Edited by Uskali MÄKI. Cambridge University Press, 2002, VII + 384 Pages. [REVIEW] Economics and Philosophy 20 (1):217-223.
  23. Frank Hahn (1996). Rerum Cognoscere Causas. Economics and Philosophy 12 (02):183-.
  24. Daniel M. Hausman (2013). Paradox Postponed. Journal of Economic Methodology 20 (3):250 - 254.
    This comment argues that there is an explanation paradox in economics, as Julian Reiss maintains, only if models in economics succeed in explaining even though they are not approximately true, fail to identify the causes of what they purport to explain, and misdescribe the mechanism by which the causes lead to the effects to be explained. Reiss provides no reason to believe that models that do not describe the causes and mechanisms at work are nevertheless explanatory.
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  25. Daniel M. Hausman (1997). Theory Appraisal in Neoclassical Economics. Journal of Economic Methodology 4 (2):289-296.
    After answering relatively minor criticisms of The Inexact and Separate Science of Economics by Geert Reuten and Uskali Mäki, this essay grants their main charge that I could not sensibly defend the way economists assess theories while at the same time criticizing their insistence that economic theories be unified and of maximal scope. I should have said that economists are mistaken in their methods of assessment because they focus on the wrong data and because they unjustifiably insist that only unified (...)
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  26. Frank Hindriks (2008). False Models as Explanatory Engines. Philosophy of the Social Sciences 38 (3):334-360.
    Many models in economics are very unrealistic. At the same time, economists put a lot of effort into making their models more realistic. I argue that in many cases, including the Modigliani-Miller irrelevance theorem investigated in this paper, the purpose of this process of concretization is explanatory. When evaluated in combination with their assumptions, a highly unrealistic model may well be true. The purpose of relaxing an unrealistic assumption, then, need not be to move from a false model to a (...)
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  27. Frank A. Hindriks (2006). Tractability Assumptions and the Musgrave–Mäki Typology. Journal of Economic Methodology 13 (4):401-423.
    Musgrave (1981) proposed a typology of assumptions, developed further by Mäki (2000), to defend the idea that the truth of assumptions is often important when evaluating economic theories against those economists who consider only predictive success to be relevant for this purpose. In this paper I propose a new framework for this typology that sheds further light on the issue. The framework consists of a distinction between first?order assumptions that state the absence or lack of effect of some factor F, (...)
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  28. Frank A. Hindriks (2005). Unobservability, Tractability and the Battle of Assumptions. Journal of Economic Methodology 12 (3):383-406.
    Economic models often include unrealistic assumptions. This does not mean, however, that economists lack a concern for the truth of their assumptions. Unrealistic assumptions are frequently imposed because the effects are taken to be negligible or because the problem at hand is intractable without them. Using the Musgrave?Mäki typology as the point of departure, these claims are defended with respect to theories proposed by Solow, Hall and Roeger concerning productivity growth and the mark?up. Since they are unobservable, their values need (...)
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  29. Geoffrey M. Hodgson (2007). Meanings of Methodological Individualism. Journal of Economic Methodology 14 (2):211-226.
    Advocacy of ?methodological individualism? is widespread, especially among economists. However, the term is rarely defined with adequate precision and some crucial ambiguities are explored in this article. Among these is the commonplace ambivalence over whether explanations should be in terms of individuals alone, or in terms of individuals plus relations between them. It is shown that a great deal hinges on this subtle and often overlooked distinction in explanantia. In particular, explanations in terms of individuals alone have never, as yet, (...)
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  30. Elias L. Khalil (1997). Economics, Biology, and Naturalism: Three Problems Concerning the Question of Individuality. [REVIEW] Biology and Philosophy 12 (2):185-206.
    The paper examines the ramifications of naturalism with regard to the question of individuality in economics and biology. Economic theory has to deal with whether households, firms, and states are individuals or are mere entities such as clubs, networks, and coalitions. Biological theory has to deal with the same question with regard to cells, organisms, family packs, and colonies. To wit, the question of individuality in both disciplines involves three separate problems: the metaphysical, phenomenist, and ontological. The metaphysical problem is (...)
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  31. Uskali Mäki (2011). The Truth of False Idealizations in Modeling. In Paul Humphreys & Cyrille Imbert (eds.), Models, Simulations, and Representations. Routledge.
    Modeling involves the use of false idealizations, yet there is typically a belief or hope that modeling somehow manages to deliver true information about the world. The paper discusses one possible way of reconciling truth and falsehood in modeling. The key trick is to relocate truth claims by reinterpreting an apparently false idealizing assumption in order to make clear what possibly true assertion is intended when using it. These include interpretations in terms of negligibility, applicability, tractability, early-step, and more. Elaborations (...)
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