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  1. Gustaf Arrhenius & Wlodek Rabinowicz (2005). Value and Unacceptable Risk. Economics and Philosophy 21 (2):177-197.
    Consider a transitive value ordering of outcomes and lotteries on outcomes, which satisfies substitutivity of equivalents and obeys “continuity for easy cases,” i.e., allows compensating risks of small losses by chances of small improvements. Temkin (2001) has argued that such an ordering must also – rather counter-intuitively – allow chances of small improvements to compensate risks of huge losses. In this paper, we show that Temkin's argument is flawed but that a better proof is possible. However, it is more difficult (...)
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  2. Gregor Betz (2004). Empirische und apriorische Grenzen von Wirtschaftsprognose: Oskar Morgenstern nach 70 Jahren Prognoseerfahrung. In Ulrich Frank (ed.), Wissenschaftstheorie in Ökonomie und Wirtschaftsinformatik. DUV.
    Dieser Beitrag diskutiert Oskar Morgensterns These von der Unmöglichkeit von Wirtschaftsprognose. Nach einer kritischen Rekonstruktion Morgensterns Argumente wird diese These in ihrer starken, apriorischen Lesart zurückgewiesen. Demgegenüber gestatten es die Ergebnisse empirischer Prognoseevaluationen, Morgensterns Überlegungen als kontingente Erklärungen des Scheiterns makroökonomischer Vorhersagen umzuinterpretieren. Der Beitrag schließt deshalb mit einer provokanten Konklusion, die bereits Morgenstern zog: der Forderung, Versuche makroökonomischer Vorhersage einzustellen.
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  3. Walter Block (1980). On Robert Nozick's 'on Austrian Methodology'. Inquiry 23 (4):397 – 444.
    Austrian economics - the school of thought associated with Carl Menger, Frederick von Weiser, Eugen von Bohm-Bawerk, and in this century, Ludwig von Mises, Friedrich Hayek, Murray N. Rothbard, and Israel Kirzner - is based on a framework of methodological principles and assumptions much at variance with those of traditional or 'orthodox' economists. Robert Nozick, in his 'On Austrian Methodology', focuses attention on the most fundamental features of this framework, and subjects them to a thoroughgoing and scathing analysis. Singled out (...)
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  4. Peter J. Boettke (1998). Formalism and Contemporary Economics: A Reply to Hausman, Heilbroner, and Mayer. Critical Review 12 (1-2):173-186.
    Abstract Economic formalism crowds out the analysis of change and adjustments to change under capitalism. The style of analytical narrative that was practiced by the first generation of neoclassical economists, in contrast, is more productive of genuine economic understanding. Despite Daniel Haus?man's challenging argument to the contrary, I maintain that Joseph Stiglitz's work is formalist at its core. While I agree with Robert Heilbroner's critique of contemporary economics, there is a limited sense in which nonformalist economics can rely on universalistic (...)
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  5. L. Boland (2010). Cartwright on "Economics". Philosophy of the Social Sciences 40 (3):530-538.
    Nancy Cartwright claims that "Causality is a hot topic today both in philosophy and economics." She may be right about philosophers, but not when it comes to economists. Cartwright talks about "economics" but nothing she says about it corresponds to what is taught in economics classes. Today, economics is dominated by model builders—but not all models involve econometrics. While all model builders do respect an endogenous-exogenous distinction between variables, this distinction will not be on the basis of which type of (...)
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  6. Bruce J. Caldwell (1984). Some Problems with Falsificationism in Economics. Philosophy of the Social Sciences 14 (4):489-495.
  7. Andrew M. Colman (2003). Beyond Rationality: Rigor Without Mortis in Game Theory. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 26 (2):180-192.
    Psychological game theory encompasses formal theories designed to remedy game-theoretic indeterminacy and to predict strategic interaction more accurately. Its theoretical plurality entails second-order indeterminacy, but this seems unavoidable. Orthodox game theory cannot solve payoff-dominance problems, and remedies based on interval-valued beliefs or payoff transformations are inadequate. Evolutionary game theory applies only to repeated interactions, and behavioral ecology is powerless to explain cooperation between genetically unrelated strangers in isolated interactions. Punishment of defectors elucidates cooperation in social dilemmas but leaves punishing behavior (...)
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  8. Andrew M. Colman (2003). Cooperation, Psychological Game Theory, and Limitations of Rationality in Social Interaction. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 26 (2):139-153.
    Rational choice theory enjoys unprecedented popularity and influence in the behavioral and social sciences, but it generates intractable problems when applied to socially interactive decisions. In individual decisions, instrumental rationality is defined in terms of expected utility maximization. This becomes problematic in interactive decisions, when individuals have only partial control over the outcomes, because expected utility maximization is undefined in the absence of assumptions about how the other participants will behave. Game theory therefore incorporates not only rationality but also common (...)
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  9. Leon J. Goldstein (1977). Causal Explanation and Model Building in History, Economics, and the New Economic History. International Studies in Philosophy 9:201-203.
  10. Francesco Guala (2006). Has Game Theory Been Refuted? Journal of Philosophy 103 (5):239-263.
    The answer in a nutshell is: Yes, five years ago, but nobody has noticed. Nobody noticed because the majority of social scientists subscribe to one of the following views: (1) the ‘anomalous’ behaviour observed in standard prisoner’s dilemma or ultimatum game experiments has refuted standard game theory a long time ago; (2) game theory is flexible enough to accommodate any observed choices by ‘refining’ players’ preferences; or (3) it is just a piece of pure mathematics (a tautology). None of these (...)
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  11. Frank Hahn & Martin Hollis (eds.) (1979). Philosophy and Economic Theory. Oxford University Press.
  12. J. Daniel Hammond (1994). The Inexact and Separate Science of Economics, Daniel M. Hausman. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1992, Xi + 372 Pages. [REVIEW] Economics and Philosophy 10 (02):338-.
  13. Daniel M. Hausman (2010). Philosophy of the Behavioral and Social Sciences: Philosophy of the Cognitive Sciences / William Bechtel and Mitchell Herschbach. Philosophy of Psychology / Edouard Machery. Philosophy of Sociology / Daniel Little. Philosophy of Economics. [REVIEW] In Fritz Allhoff (ed.), Philosophies of the Sciences. Wiley-Blackwell.
  14. Daniel M. Hausman, Philosophy of Economics. Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
    This is a comprehensive anthology of works concerning the nature of economics as a science, including classic texts and essays exploring specific branches and schools of economics. Apart from the classics, most of the selections in the third edition are new, as are the introduction and bibliography. No other anthology spans the whole field and offers a comprehensive introduction to questions about economic methodology.
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  15. Daniel M. Hausman (ed.) (2008). The Philosophy of Economics: An Anthology. Cambridge University Press.
    This is a comprehensive anthology of works concerning the nature of economics as a science, including classic texts and essays exploring specific branches and schools of economics. Apart from the classics, most of the selections in the third edition are new, as are the introduction and bibliography. No other anthology spans the whole field and offers a comprehensive introduction to questions about economic methodology.
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  16. Daniel M. Hausman (1999). Ontology and Methodology in Economics. Economics and Philosophy 15 (02):283-.
  17. Daniel M. Hausman (1999). The Handbook of Economic Methodology, John Davis, D. Wade Hands, and Uskali Mäki (Eds.). Edward Elgar, 1998, Xviii + 572 Pages. [REVIEW] Economics and Philosophy 15 (02):289-.
  18. Daniel M. Hausman (1981). John Stuart Mill's Philosophy of Economics. Philosophy of Science 48 (3):363-385.
    John Stuart Mill regards economics as an inexact and separate science which employs a deductive method. This paper analyzes and restates Mill's views and considers whether they help one to understand philosophical peculiarities of contemporary microeconomic theory. The author concludes that it is philosophically enlightening to interpret microeconomics as an inexact and separate science, but that Mill's notion of a deductive method has only a little to contribute.
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  19. Edith Kuiper & Jolande Sap (eds.) (1995). Out of the Margin: Feminist Perspectives on Economics. Routledge.
    Out of the Margin is the first book to consider feminist concerns across the whole domain of economics. In recent years there has been a tremendous increase in interest on the relation between gender and economics. Feminists have found much of concern in the way the economics has written women out of its history, built its theories around masculinist values, failed to take proper account of women and their work when measuring the economy and ignored most of the policy issues (...)
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  20. Don Ross (2008). Classical Game Theory, Socialization and the Rationalization of Conventions. Topoi 27 (1-2):57-72.
    The paper begins by providing a game-theoretic reconstruction of Gilbert’s (1989) philosophical critique of Lewis (1969) on the role of salience in selecting conventions. Gilbert’s insight is reformulated thus: Nash equilibrium is insufficiently powerful as a solution concept to rationalize conventions for unboundedly rational agents if conventions are solutions to the kinds of games Lewis supposes. Both refinements to NE and appeals to bounded rationality can plug this gap, but lack generality. As Binmore (this issue) argues, evolutive game theory readily (...)
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  21. Rachel C. Sayers (2012). The Cost of Being Female: Critical Comment on Block. Journal of Business Ethics 106 (4):519-524.
    Women currently earn 77 cents for every dollar earned by men. Explanations abound for why, exactly, this wage gap exists. One of the more potent justifications attributes this pay differential to the unequal effects of marriage on the sexes: the marital asymmetry hypothesis. However, even when marital status is accounted for, a small but significant residual gap remains. This article argues that this is the result of social factors. Entrenched societal sexism causes all of us to harbor unconscious bias about (...)
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  22. Peter Vanderschraaf (2008). Game Theory Meets Threshold Analysis: Reappraising the Paradoxes of Anarchy and Revolution. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 59 (4):579-617.
    I resolve a previously unnoticed anomaly in the analysis of collective action problems. Some political theorists apply game theory to analyze the paradox of anarchy: War is apparently inevitable in anarchy even though all warring parties prefer peace over war. Others apply tipping threshold analysis to resolve the paradox of revolution: Joining a revolution is apparently always irrational even when an overwhelming majority of the population wish to replace their regime. The usual game theoretic analysis of anarchy yields the conclusion (...)
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Causation in Economics
  1. John Aldrich (2006). When Are Inferences Too Fragile to Be Believed? Journal of Economic Methodology 13 (2):161-177.
    The use of sensitivity analysis is routine in some fields of empirical econometrics, although econometric theorists have generally taken a critical attitude towards it. This paper presents a framework in which arguments for and against such analysis can be evaluated. It appears that sensitivity is not necessarily a bad, nor sturdiness necessarily a good.
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  2. J. Birner (1995). Interpretation and its Consequences: A Review of Don Lavoie's (Editor) Expectations and the Meaning of Institutions-Essays by Ludwig Lachmann and Economics and Hermeneutics. [REVIEW] Journal of Economic Methodology 2:304-311.
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  3. Jack Birner, Peter Boettke, Karen Vaughn & Ulrich Witt (1998). INEM Sessions at the New York ASSA Meetings 3-5 January 1999. Journal of Economic Methodology 5 (2):332.
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  4. Nancy Cartwright (2010). Reply to Steel and Pearl Hunting Causes and Using Them: Approaches in Philosophy and Economics , Nancy Cartwright. Cambridge University Press, 2008, X + 270 Pages. [REVIEW] Economics and Philosophy 26 (1):87-94.
  5. Hsiang-Ke Chao, Szu-Ting Chen & Roberta L. Millstein (2013). Mechanism and Causality in Biology and Economics. Springer.
    This volume addresses fundamental issues in the philosophy of science in the context of two most intriguing fields: biology and economics. Written by authorities and experts in the philosophy of biology and economics, Mechanism and Causality in Biology and Economics provides a structured study of the concepts of mechanism and causality in these disciplines and draws careful juxtapositions between philosophical apparatus and scientific practice. By exploring the issues that are most salient to the contemporary philosophies of biology and economics and (...)
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  6. Hsiang-Ke Chao, Szu-Ting Chen & Roberta L. Millstein (2013). Towards the Methodological Turn in the Philosophy of Science. In Hsiang-Ke Chao, Szu-Ting Chen & Roberta L. Millstein (eds.), Mechanism and Causality in Biology and Economics. Springer.
    This chapter provides an introduction to the study of the philosophical notions of mechanisms and causality in biology and economics. This chapter sets the stage for this volume, Mechanism and Causality in Biology and Economics, in three ways. First, it gives a broad review of the recent changes and current state of the study of mechanisms and causality in the philosophy of science. Second, consistent with a recent trend in the philosophy of science to focus on scientific practices, it in (...)
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  7. Hsiang‐Ke Chao (2005). A Misconception of the Semantic Conception of Econometrics? Journal of Economic Methodology 12 (1):125-135.
    Davis argues that Suppe's semantic conception provides a better understanding of the problem of theory?data confrontations. Applying his semantic methodology to the LSE (London School of Economics) approach of econometrics, he concludes that the LSE approach fails to address the issue of bridging the theory?data gap. This paper suggests two other versions of the semantic view of theories in the philosophy of science, due to Suppes and van Fraassen, and argues that the LSE approach can be construed under these two (...)
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  8. Victoria Chick & Sheila Dow (2005). The Meaning of Open Systems. Journal of Economic Methodology 12 (3):363-381.
    There has been considerable discussion lately of the concept of open systems, which has revealed that different participants are using the terms ?openness? and ?closure? in different ways. The purpose of this paper is to address issues of meaning that arise in this particular discourse, with a view to clarifying both conflicts in usage and the underlying issues involved. We explore the different meanings of openness and closure extant in the literature, as applied at the ontological and epistemological levels, focusing (...)
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  9. D. Colander (1997). Review of Thomas A. Boylan and Paschal F. O'Gorman's Beyond Rhetoric Methodology. [REVIEW] Economics and Philosophy 13:140-141.
  10. Steven Cook (1999). Methodological Aspects of the Encompassing Principle. Journal of Economic Methodology 6 (1):61-78.
    The philosophy of science literature has played an increasing role in discussion of econometric methodology in recent years, and the Hendry methodology in particular has received much attention. Despite this, the encompassing principle has been overlooked in the methodological literature. This paper addresses this by examining the major methodological implications of the principle.
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  11. John B. Davis (1995). Personal Identity and Standard Economic Theory. Journal of Economic Methodology 2 (1):35-52.
    This paper investigates the topic of personal identity in standard neoclassical theory. It looks first at the traditional utility theory of maximizing consumers and then at the extension of that analysis in the time-allocation-household-production model to see how relatively settled ontological commitments in the neoclassical research program undergo modification with its development. David Hume's skeptical treatment of personal identity is employed to assess the traditional view. The time-allocation model is shown to escape some of Hume's problems, but encounters difficulties of (...)
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  12. C. Tyler DesRoches (2009). Revitalizing Causality: Realism About Causality in Philosophy and Social Science. Journal of Economic Methodology 16 (4):426-431.
  13. M. Hammersley (2011). On Becker's Studies of Marijuana Use as an Example of Analytic Induction. Philosophy of the Social Sciences 41 (4):535-566.
    Analytic induction (AI) is an interpretation of scientific method that emerged in early twentieth-century sociology and still has some influence today. Among the studies often cited as examples are Becker’s articles on marijuana use. While these have been given less attention than the work of Lindesmith on opiate addiction and Cressey on financial trust violation, Becker’s work has distinctive features. Furthermore, it raises some important and interesting issues that relate not only to AI but to social scientific explanation more generally. (...)
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  14. Daniel Hausman (2001). Explanation and diagnosis in economics. Revue Internationale de Philosophie 3:311-326.
  15. Carsten Herrmann-Pillath (2012). Institutions, Distributed Cognition and Agency: Rule-Following as Performative Action. Journal of Economic Methodology 19 (1):21-42.
    Aoki recently proposed the concept of substantive institutions, a concept that relates the outcomes of strategic interaction with public representations of the equilibrium states of games. I argue that the Aoki model can be grounded in theories of distributed cognition and performativity, which I put into the context of Searle's philosophical account of institutions. Substantive institutions build on regularized causal interactions between internal neuronal mechanisms and external facts, shared in a population of agents. Following Searle's proposal of conceiving rule-following as (...)
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  16. 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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  17. Geoffrey M. Hodgson (2004). Darwinism, Causality and the Social Sciences. Journal of Economic Methodology 11 (2):175-194.
    Recently the degree to which ?evolutionary economics? does or should involve Darwinian principles has come under debate. This essay builds on previous arguments that Darwinism has a potentially wide application to socioeconomic evolution, which does not involve biological reductionism. It is argued that at the core of Darwinism are presuppositions concerning causality and causal explanation. Contrary to widespread belief, these presuppositions do not downgrade or ignore human intentionality: they simply require that it too is in principle subject to causal explanation. (...)
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  18. Geoffrey M. Hodgson (2001). Darwin, Veblen and the Problem of Causality in Economics. History and Philosophy of the Life Sciences 23 (3/4):385 - 423.
    This article discusses some of the ways in which Darwinism has influenced a small minority of economists. It is argued that Darwinism involves a philosophical as well as a theoretical doctrine. Despite claims to the contrary, the uses of analogies to Darwinian natural selection theory are highly limited in economics. Exceptions include Thorstein Veblen, Richard Nelson, and Sidney Winter. At the philosophical level, one of the key features of Darwinism is its notion of detailed understanding in terms of chains of (...)
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  19. William A. Jackson (2002). Functional Explanation in Economics: A Qualified Defence. Journal of Economic Methodology 9 (2):169-189.
    Economists seldom make explicit use of functional explanation, although they sometimes use it implicitly. Functional theorizing has lost favour among social scientists in recent years, and few are now willing to adopt functional language. This paper argues that, despite some drawbacks, explicit functional methods have several attractive features, including a pluralistic attitude to causality, an awareness of stratification and emergence, and a compatibility with a realist perspective. Functional methods on their own cannot provide full causal explanations, but they can raise (...)
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  20. Donald W. Katzner & Peter Skott (2004). Economic Explanation, Ordinality and the Adequacy of Analytic Specification. Journal of Economic Methodology 11 (4):437-453.
    This paper examines the implicit links between models containing ordinal variables and their underlying unquantified counterparts that are necessary to make the former viable theoretical constructions. It is argued that when the underlying unquantified structure is unknown, the permissible transformations of scale applicable to the ordinal variables have to be restricted beyond that which is permitted by dint of the ordinality itself. The possibility of an underlying structure being known but unspecified is also considered. In the case of the efficiency (...)
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  21. Alessio Moneta (2005). Causality in Macroeconometrics: Some Considerations About Reductionism and Realism. Journal of Economic Methodology 12 (3):433-453.
    This paper investigates the varieties of reductionism and realism about causal relations in macroeconometrics. There are two issues, which are kept distinct in the analysis but which are interrelated in the development of econometrics. The first one is the question of the reducibility of causal relations to regularities, measured in statistics by correlations. The second one is the question of the reducibility of causes among macroeconomic aggregates to microeconomic behaviour. It is argued that there is a continuum of possible positions (...)
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  22. Julian Reiss (2013). The Explanation Paradox Redux. Journal of Economic Methodology 20 (3):280 - 292.
    I respond to some challenges raised by my critics. In particular, I argue in favour of six claims. First, against Alexandrova and Northcott, I point out that to deny the explanatoriness of economic models by assuming an ontic (specifically, causal) conception of explanation is to beg the question. Second, against defences of causal realism (by Hausman, Mäki, Rol and Grüne-Yanoff) I point out that they have provided no criterion to distinguish those claims a model makes that can be interpreted realistically (...)
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  23. Julian Reiss (2012). The Explanation Paradox. Journal of Economic Methodology 19 (1):43-62.
    This paper examines mathematical models in economics and observes that three mutually inconsistent hypotheses concerning models and explanation are widely held: (1) economic models are false; (2) economic models are nevertheless explanatory; and (3) only true accounts explain. Commentators have typically resolved the paradox by rejecting either one of these hypotheses. I will argue that none of the proposed resolutions work and conclude that therefore the paradox is genuine and likely to stay.
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  24. Julian Reiss (2001). Natural Economic Quantities and Their Measurement. Journal of Economic Methodology 8 (2):287-311.
    This paper discusses and develops an important distinction drawn by Jevons, viz . that between natural and fictitious quantities. This distinction provides a basis for a theory of economic concept formation that aims at picking out families of models that are phenomenally adequate, explanatory and exact simultaneously. Essentially, the theory demands of an economic quantity to be natural that (1) it is explained by a causal model, (2) it is measurable and (3) the measurement procedure is justified. The proposed theory (...)
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  25. Ole Rogeberg & Hans Olav Melberg (2011). Acceptance of Unsupported Claims About Reality: A Blind Spot in Economics. Journal of Economic Methodology 18 (01):29-52.
    Do economists accept absurd and unsupported claims about reality, and if so, why? We define four types of claims commonly made in economics that require different types of evidence, and show examples of each from the rational addiction literature. Claims about real world causal mechanisms and welfare effects seem poorly supported. A survey mailed to all researchers with peer-reviewed work on rational addiction theory provides some evidence that criteria for evaluating claims of pure theory and statistical prediction are better (...)
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  26. Menno Rol (2013). Reply to Julian Reiss. Journal of Economic Methodology 20 (3):244 - 249.
    Julian Reiss finds an insoluble paradox in the claims that economic models are at the same time false, nevertheless explanatory, and that only true explanations explain. But the claim that they are false is itself false. A closer look at what ?truth? may mean is needed.
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  27. Aris Spanos (2006). Revisiting the Omitted Variables Argument: Substantive Vs. Statistical Adequacy. Journal of Economic Methodology 13 (2):179-218.
    The problem of omitted variables is commonly viewed as a statistical misspecification issue which renders the inference concerning the influence of X t on yt unreliable, due to the exclusion of certain relevant factors W t . That is, omitting certain potentially important factors W t may confound the influence of X t on yt . The textbook omitted variables argument attempts to assess the seriousness of this unreliability using the sensitivity of the estimator to the inclusion/exclusion of W t (...)
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  28. Peter Spirtes (2005). Graphical Models, Causal Inference, and Econometric Models. Journal of Economic Methodology 12 (1):3-34.
    A graphical model is a graph that represents a set of conditional independence relations among the vertices (random variables). The graph is often given a causal interpretation as well. I describe how graphical causal models can be used in an algorithm for constructing partial information about causal graphs from observational data that is reliable in the large sample limit, even when some of the variables in the causal graph are unmeasured. I also describe an algorithm for estimating from observational data (...)
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