Research programs, model-building and actor-network-theory: Reassessing the case of the Leontief Paradox

Journal of Economic Methodology 11 (4):455-476 (2004)
Abstract
Methodology of scientific research programs (MSRP), model-building and actor-network-theory (ANT) are woven together to provide a layered study of the Leontief paradox. Neil De Marchi's Lakatosian account examined the paradox within an Ohlin-Samuelson research program. A model-building approach rather highlights the ability of Leontief's input-output model to mediate between international trade theory and the world by facilitating an empirical application of the Heckscher-Ohlin Theorem. The epistemological implications of this model-building approach provide an alternative explanation of why Samuelson and other prominent economists ignored the paradox. By focusing on the network in which input-output analysis evolved, Bruno Latour's ANT further explains the response of international trade theorists.
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