Economic approaches to politics

Critical Review 9 (1-2):1-24 (1995)
Abstract
The debate over Green and Shapiro's Pathologies of Rational Choice Theory sustains their contention that rational choice theory has not produced novel, empirically sustainable findings about politics?if one accepts their definition of empirically sustainable findings. Green and Shapiro show that rational choice research often resembles the empirically vacuous practices in which economists engage under the aegis of instrumentalism. Yet Green and Shapiro's insistence that theoretical constructs should produce accurate predictions may inadvertently lead to instrumentalism. Some of Green and Shapiro's critics hint at a better approach, which would eschew predictive testing in favor of testing the applicability of the theory to particular cases.
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