Is endogenous growth theory degenerating? Another look at Lakatosian appraisal of growth theories

Journal of Economic Methodology 16 (3):243-263 (2009)
Abstract
In a recent paper, Cavusoglu and Tebaldi (2006) provided an evaluation of neoclassical and endogenous growth theories according to Lakatos's methodology of scientific research programmes. This paper offers three criticisms of their contribution as well as a rival Lakatosian appraisal of growth theories. First, we hold that Cavusoglu and Tebaldi do not provide a proper structure of theory comparison in their contribution. Second, we argue that they use an inadequate version of Lakatos's appraisal criterion. Third, against the claim of the authors, we show that there are seminal endogenous growth models, which predict income convergence among countries. Finally, in contrast to Cavusoglu and Tebaldi, our analysis suggests that by Lakatos's standards, Schumpeterian variant of endogenous growth theory is both theoretically and empirically progressive over neoclassical growth theory.
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