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Robert S. Goldfarb [8]Robert Goldfarb [1]
  1. Lee Sigelman & Robert Goldfarb (2012). The Influence of Economics on Political Science: By What Pathway? Journal of Economic Methodology 19 (1):1-19.
    The influence of economics, the most imperialistic of the social science disciplines, is widely thought to have been felt more decisively in political science than in any other discipline. After briefly reviewing some evidence that this alleged influence is not transmitted through the use of specific economics concepts, this paper explores the possibility that the influence instead stems from the importation of formal rational choice modeling techniques from economics into political science. This is carried out using a case study of (...)
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  2. Robert S. Goldfarb & Jonathan Ratner (2009). Exploring Different Visions of the Model–Empirics Nexus: Solow Versus Lipsey. Journal of Economic Methodology 16 (2):159-174.
    Does empirical work in economics both provoke and test theoretical models, or does model development proceed according to a theory-oriented research program, with little interaction with empirics? Robert Solow and Richard Lipsey have articulated different visions of this relationship. This paper: (i) describes these competing Solow versus Lipsey views; (ii) presents examples illustrating each view; and (iii) draws inferences about factors promoting a close relation between empirics and modeling. Three examples are examined in detail: the ?nursing shortage? literature; Lind's analysis (...)
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  3. Robert S. Goldfarb, H. O. Stekler & Joel David (2005). Methodological Issues in Forecasting: Insights From the Egregious Business Forecast Errors of Late 1930. Journal of Economic Methodology 12 (4):517-542.
    This paper examines some economic forecasts made in late 1930 that were intended to predict economic activity in the United States in order to shed light on several methodological issues. We document that these forecasts were extremely optimistic, predicting that the recession in the US would soon end, and that 1931 would show a recovery. These forecasts displayed egregious errors, because 1931 witnessed the largest negative growth rate for the US economy in any year in the twentieth century. A specific (...)
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  4. Robert S. Goldfarb, Thomas C. Leonard & Steven M. Suranovic (2001). Are Rival Theories of Smoking Underdetermined? Journal of Economic Methodology 8 (2):229-251.
    Some empirically minded philosophers of science argue that the evidence should choose the best theory from among theoretical rivals. However, the evidence may not speak clearly, a problem of 'underdetermination of theory by data'. We examine this problem in a concrete setting, rival theories of smoking behaviour. We investigate whether several uncontested pieces of empirical evidence allow us to choose between two competing theoretical perspectives on smoking, rational choice and non-rational choice, respectively. Next, we develop a more refined taxonomy of (...)
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  5. Thomas C. Leonard, Robert S. Goldfarb & Steven M. Suranovic (2000). New on Paternalism and Public Policy. Economics and Philosophy 16 (2):323-331.
    Bill New's (1999) thoughtful paper has performed the valuable service of clarifying the meaning and the policy implications of paternalism. His careful formulation delimits the domain of justified state paternalism. Having argued successfully, in our view, for a narrow ambit, New proceeds to identify situations that justify paternalism. This comment is written in the spirit of a friendly reformulation that refines and improves the specification of when paternalism is justified. Our argument is two-fold. First, we argue that New's formulation, properly (...)
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  6. Bryan L. Boulier & Robert S. Goldfarb (1998). On the Use and Nonuse of Surveys in Economics. Journal of Economic Methodology 5 (1):1-21.
    While it is widely alleged that economists do not like or use questionnaire surveys, the facts are considerably more complicated. Economists make extensive use of survey information on such things as prices and employment, and the use of ?contingent valuation? surveys has exploded recently. The paper reviews the historical debate that led to economists? seeming distrust of surveys. It then investigates why there is extensive use of surveys in the face of methodological strictures against survey use. To do this, the (...)
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  7. Robert S. Goldfarb (1997). Now You See It, Now You Don't: Emerging Contrary Results in Economics. Journal of Economic Methodology 4 (2):221-244.
    Abstract A number of empirical literatures in economics display the following pattern of results. First, evidence accumulates to support an empirical result. As time passes, however, contrary results emerge that challenge that initial result. This phenomenon raises important issues about (i) what part empirical findings play in how economists come to believe things; and (ii) how believable inferences are to be made from literatures displaying such contrary results. This paper documents this ?emerging contrary result? phenomenon, and investigates the factors causing (...)
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  8. Robert S. Goldfarb (1995). The Economist-as-Audience Needs a Methodology of Plausible Inference. Journal of Economic Methodology 2 (2):201-222.
    Economists often try to make plausible inferences from a sizable empirical literature addressing a particular measurement, direction-of-effect, or testing issue. There are serious methodological problems associated with drawing such inferences. This article sets out some of these problems in order to make a case for their importance. After discussing these problems, the paper presents three case study examples of inference difficulties in specific literatures. It then proposes a new hypothesis about the time pattern of publication bias in empirical economics literatures. (...)
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  9. Bryan L. Boulier & Robert S. Goldfarb (1991). Pisces Economicus: The Fish as Economic Man. Economics and Philosophy 7 (01):83-86.
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