Formalism and contemporary economics: A reply to Hausman, Heilbroner, and Mayer

Critical Review 12 (1-2):173-186 (1998)
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 assumptions. And Thomas Mayer has provided useful guidelines for focusing nonformalist analysis on real?world economic problems.
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Uskali Mäki (1996). Two Portraits of Economics. Journal of Economic Methodology 3 (1):1-38.
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