Walter Bagehot on economic methodology: evolutionism and realisticnessl

Journal of Economic Methodology 6 (1):79-94 (1999)
Bagehot wrote on the methodology of Ricardian political economy some years after the appearance of marginalism. The purpose of this paper is to examine and evaluate his methodological positions. Bagehot made some significant contributions concerning the nature of economic explanation, the relevance of economic assumptions and the limits of the validity of economic theories. His positions were strongly influenced by social anthropology and Darwinian evolutionism. Bagehot's originality lies in his evolutionist view of the Ricardian political economy, a view that led him to limit its validity and to reinforce its realisticness, at a time when economics was about to take an opposite direction.
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DOI 10.1080/13501789900000004
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