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93 found
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  1. Justifying Idealization by Abstraction.Sebastian Lutz -
    I show how omissions lead to robustness and can justify distortions, and I give inferentially relevant explications of abstraction and idealization. Abstraction is explicated as the omission of all and only those claims that use a specific vocabulary; idealization is explicated as the distortion of only those claims that use a specific vocabulary. With these explications, abstraction can justify idealization. As examples of how abstraction justifies idealization and leads to robustness, I discuss Beauchamp and Childress's four principles of biomedical ethics (...)
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  2. A Critical Approach to Critiquing Economics.Hayden Wilkinson & Geoffrey Brennan - forthcoming - In Virtues and Economics 4. Springer.
  3. The Institutional Preconditions of Homo Economicus.Eduard Braun - 2021 - Journal of Economic Methodology 28 (2):231-246.
    Most economists are aware that homo economicus is not a ‘conception of man,’ but only a useful assumption. Still, homo economicus is usually interpreted as an assumption about individual agents. It...
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  4. How-Possibly Explanations in Economics: Anything Goes?Till Grüne-Yanoff & Philippe Verreault-Julien - 2021 - Journal of Economic Methodology 28 (1):114-123.
    The recent literature on economic models has rejected the traditional requirement that their epistemic value necessary depended on them offering actual explanations of phenomena. Contributors to that literature have argued that many models do not aim at providing how-actually explanations, but instead how-possibly explanations. However, how to assess the epistemic value of HPEs remains an open question. We present a programmatic approach to answering it. We first introduce a conceptual framework that distinguishes how-actually explanations from how-possibly explanations and that further (...)
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  5. Multiple Models, One Explanation.Chiara Lisciandra & Johannes Korbmacher - 2021 - Journal of Economic Methodology 28 (2):186-206.
    We develop an account of how mutually inconsistent models of the same target system can provide coherent information about the system. Our account makes use of ideas from the debate surrounding rob...
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  6. Wine and Bottles. Some Remarks on “The Two Blades of Occam's Razor in Economics: Logical and Heuristic” by Giandomenica Becchio.Peter Cserne - 2020 - Economic Thought 9 (1):18.
    Read Giandomenica Becchio's original paper “The Two Blades of Occam's Razor in Economics: Logical and Heuristic”...
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  7. Abstraction and Closure: A Methodological Discussion of Distribution-Led Growth.Michalis Nikiforos - 2020 - Journal of Economic Methodology 28 (2):207-230.
    This paper presents a methodological discussion of two recent ‘endogeneity critiques’ of the Kaleckian model and the concept of distribution-led growth. From a neo-Keynesian perspective, it is crit...
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  8. Explanatory Value in Context: The Curious Case of Hotelling’s Location Model.Emrah Aydinonat & Emin Köksal - 2019 - European Journal of the History of Economic Thought 26 (5):1-32.
    There is a striking contrast between the significance of Harold Hotelling’s contribution to industrial economics and the fact that his location model was invalid, unrealistic and non-robust. It is difficult to make sense of the explanatory value of Hotelling’s model based on philosophical accounts that emphasize logical validity, representational adequacy, and robustness as determinants of explanatory value. However, these accounts are misleading because they overlook the context within which the explanatory value added of a model is apprehensible. We present Hotelling’s (...)
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  9. The Entanglement Problem and Idealization in Moral Philosophy.Olle Risberg - 2018 - Philosophical Quarterly 68 (272):542-559.
    According to many popular views in normative ethics, meta-ethics and axiology, facts about what we ought to do or what is good for us depend on facts about the attitudes that some agent would have in some relevant idealized circumstances. This paper presents an unrecognized structural problem for such views which threatens to be devastating.
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  10. Against Welfare Subjectivism.Eden Lin - 2017 - Noûs 51 (2):354-377.
    Subjectivism about welfare is the view that something is basically good for you if and only if, and to the extent that, you have the right kind of favorable attitude toward it under the right conditions. I make a presumptive case for the falsity of subjectivism by arguing against nearly every extant version of the view. My arguments share a common theme: theories of welfare should be tested for what they imply about newborn infants. Even if a theory is intended (...)
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  11. A Puzzle About Economic Explanation: Examining the Cournot and Bertrand Models of Duopoly Competition.Jonathan Nebel - 2017 - Dissertation, Kansas State University
    Economists use various models to explain why it is that firms are capable of pricing above marginal cost. In this paper, we will examine two of them: the Cournot and Bertrand duopoly models. Economists generally accept both models as good explanations of the phenomenon, but the two models contradict each other in various important ways. The puzzle is that two inconsistent explanations are both regarded as good explanations for the same phenomenon. This becomes especially worrisome when the two models are (...)
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  12. Adjusting the Model to Adjust the World: Constructive Mechanisms in Postwar General Equilibrium Theory.Ivan Boldyrev & Alexey Ushakov - 2016 - Journal of Economic Methodology 23 (1):38-56.
    Economic methodologists most often study the relations between models and reality while focusing on the issues of the model's epistemic relevance in terms of its relation to the ‘real world’ and representing the real world in a model. We complement the discussion by bringing the model's constructive mechanisms or self-implementing technologies in play. By this, we mean the elements of the economic model that are aimed at ‘implementing’ it by envisaging the ways to change the reality in order to bring (...)
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  13. Idealization Xiv: Models in Science.Giacomo Borbone & Krzysztof Brzechczyn (eds.) - 2016 - Brill | Rodopi.
    The book "Idealization XIV: Models in Science" offers a detailed ontological, epistemological and historical account of the role of models in scientific practice. The volume contains contributions of different international scholars who developed many aspects of the use of idealizations and models both in the natural and the social sciences. This volume is particularly relevant because it offers original contributions concerning one of the main topic in philosophy of science: the role of models in such branches of the sciences and (...)
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  14. Preferences and Positivist Methodology in Economics.Christopher Clarke - 2016 - Philosophy of Science 83 (2):192-212.
    I distinguish several doctrines that economic methodologists have found attractive, all of which have a positivist flavour. One of these is the doctrine that preference assignments in economics are just shorthand descriptions of agents' choice behaviour. Although most of these doctrines are problematic, the latter doctrine about preference assignments is a respectable one, I argue. It doesn't entail any of the problematic doctrines, and indeed it is warranted independently of them.
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  15. Between Isolations and Constructions: Economic Models as Believable Worlds.Lukasz Hardt - 2016 - Poznan Studies in the Philosophy of the Sciences and the Humanities 106.
    As the title of this essay suggests, my concern is with the issue of what are economic models. However, the goal of the paper is not to offer an in-depth study on multiple approaches to modelling in economics, but rather to overcome the dichotomical divide between conceptualizing models as isolations and constructions. This is done by introducing the idea of economic models as believable worlds, precisely descriptions of mechanisms that refer to the essentials of the modelled targets. In doing so (...)
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  16. Pragmatic Hegemony: Questions and Convergence.Brendan Hogan - 2015 - Journal of Speculative Philosophy 29 (1):107-117.
  17. Prisoner's Dilemma Doesn't Explain Much.Robert Northcott & Anna Alexandrova - 2015 - In Martin Peterson (ed.), The Prisoner’s Dilemma. Classic philosophical arguments. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. pp. 64-84.
    We make the case that the Prisoner’s Dilemma, notwithstanding its fame and the quantity of intellectual resources devoted to it, has largely failed to explain any phenomena of social scientific or biological interest. In the heart of the paper we examine in detail a famous purported example of Prisoner’s Dilemma empirical success, namely Axelrod’s analysis of WWI trench warfare, and argue that this success is greatly overstated. Further, we explain why this negative verdict is likely true generally and not just (...)
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  18. La riproduzione come fine ultimo degli organismi viventi: Genealogia di un paradigma economico.Davide Serpico, Luca Costa & Davide Rasino - 2014 - Naturalmente 27 (3):4-10.
    Mostrando le analogie tra il modello di Homo oeconomicus e quello che chiameremo Animal oeconomicum, nonché la genealogia del ragionamento “economico” applicato al comportamento animale, vengono messi in risalto gli impliciti e le debolezze di alcuni ragionamenti etologici frequenti; revisioni e critiche che hanno ridimensionato il concetto di Homo oeconomicus sono applicabili anche all’interpretazione raziocinante e calcolatrice del comportamento animale.
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  19. It’s Just A Feeling: Why Economic Models Do Not Explain.Anna Alexandrova & Robert Northcott - 2013 - Journal of Economic Methodology 20 (3):262 - 267.
    Julian Reiss correctly identified a trilemma about economic models: we cannot maintain that they are false, but nevertheless explain and that only true accounts explain. In this reply we give reasons to reject the second premise ? that economic models explain. Intuitions to the contrary should be distrusted.
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  20. Popper, Rationality and the Possibility of Social Science.Danny Frederick - 2013 - Theoria : An International Journal for Theory, History and Fundations of Science 28 (1):61-75.
    Social science employs teleological explanations which depend upon the rationality principle, according to which people exhibit instrumental rationality. Popper points out that people also exhibit critical rationality, the tendency to stand back from, and to question or criticise, their views. I explain how our critical rationality impugns the explanatory value of the rationality principle and thereby threatens the very possibility of social science. I discuss the relationship between instrumental and critical rationality and show how we can reconcile our critical rationality (...)
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  21. Genuineness Resolved: A Reply to Reiss' Purported Paradox.Till Grüne-Yanoff - 2013 - Journal of Economic Methodology 20 (3):255 - 261.
    This response to Reiss ?explanatory paradox? argues that some economic models might be true, and that many economic models are not intended for providing how-actually explanations, but rather how-possibly explanations. Therefore, two assumptions of Reiss? paradox are not true, and the paradox disappears.
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  22. Introduction to Symposium on the Explanation Paradox.D. Wade Hands - 2013 - Journal of Economic Methodology 20 (3):235 - 236.
  23. Paradox Postponed.Daniel M. Hausman - 2013 - Journal of Economic Methodology 20 (3):250 - 254.
    This comment argues that there is an explanation paradox in economics, as Julian Reiss maintains, only if models in economics succeed in explaining even though they are not approximately true, fail to identify the causes of what they purport to explain, and misdescribe the mechanism by which the causes lead to the effects to be explained. Reiss provides no reason to believe that models that do not describe the causes and mechanisms at work are nevertheless explanatory.
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  24. Three Kinds of ‘as-If’ Claims.Aki Lehtinen - 2013 - Journal of Economic Methodology 20 (2):184-205.
    As-if locutions are used (a) in order to indicate that an inaccurate or unrealistic assumption is being made because some inaccuracy or unrealisticness is negligible. This kind of claim has two sub-cases. (a1) The as-if locution is used to indicate that the as-if claim in itself is inaccurate and that its inaccuracy does not matter for the purposes of the investigation. (a2) It is used to indicate that claims are made without regard to the causal factors that are assumed to (...)
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  25. On a Paradox of Truth, or How Not to Obscure the Issue of Whether Explanatory Models Can Be True.Uskali Mäki - 2013 - Journal of Economic Methodology 20 (3):268 - 279.
    It is argued that Reiss (2012) fails to refute attempts to resolve the paradox of false explanatory models. His article fails to provide an articulate conception of what exactly the presumed paradox is, it suffers from uncontrolled ambiguities and inconsistencies, and it fails to adequately address accounts of economic models that might contribute to reconciling their apparent falsehood and explanatoriness. Some details in my account of how apparently false models may explain are clarified.
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  26. Playing with Networks: How Economists Explain. [REVIEW]Caterina Marchionni - 2013 - European Journal for Philosophy of Science 3 (3):331-352.
    Network theory is applied across the sciences to study phenomena as diverse as the spread of SARS, the topology of the cell, the structure of the Internet and job search behaviour. Underlying the study of networks is graph theory. Whether the graph represents a network of neurons, cells, friends or firms, it displays features that exclusively depend on the mathematical properties of the graph itself. However, the way in which graph theory is implemented to the modelling of networks differs significantly (...)
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  27. Soros and Popper: On Fallibility, Reflexivity, and the Unity of Method.Mark Amadeus Notturno - 2013 - Journal of Economic Methodology 20 (4):420-428.
    Let me begin by saying that I think that George Soros is right in identifying fallibility and reflexivity as important phenomena in economic life, and in social life more generally, and as phenomena that mainstream economic theory has largely ignored. I also agree with Soros that economics is an uncertain science. And I think that Soros himself, being one of the world's wealthiest men and most generous philanthropists, deserves credit for being ready and willing to think for himself. It would (...)
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  28. The Explanation Paradox Redux.Julian Reiss - 2013 - Journal of Economic Methodology 20 (3):280 - 292.
    I respond to some challenges raised by my critics. In particular, I argue in favour of six claims. First, against Alexandrova and Northcott, I point out that to deny the explanatoriness of economic models by assuming an ontic (specifically, causal) conception of explanation is to beg the question. Second, against defences of causal realism (by Hausman, Mäki, Rol and Grüne-Yanoff) I point out that they have provided no criterion to distinguish those claims a model makes that can be interpreted realistically (...)
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  29. Reply to Julian Reiss.Menno Rol - 2013 - Journal of Economic Methodology 20 (3):244 - 249.
    Julian Reiss finds an insoluble paradox in the claims that economic models are at the same time false, nevertheless explanatory, and that only true explanations explain. But the claim that they are false is itself false. A closer look at what ?truth? may mean is needed.
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  30. How Fictional Accounts Can Explain.Robert Sugden - 2013 - Journal of Economic Methodology 20 (3):237 - 243.
    In this note, I comment on Julian Reiss's paper ?The explanation paradox?. I argue in support of two of the propositions that make up that paradox (that economic models are false, and that they are explanatory) but challenge the third proposition, that only true accounts can explain. I defend the ?credible worlds? account of models as fictions that are explanatory by virtue of similarity relations with real-world phenomena. I argue that Reiss's objections to the role of subjective similarity judgements in (...)
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  31. De-Idealization by Commentary: The Case of Financial Valuation Models.Ekaterina Svetlova - 2013 - Synthese 190 (2):321-337.
    Is there a unique way to de-idealize models? If not, how might the possible ways of reducing the distortion between models and reality differ from each other? Based on an empirical case study conducted in financial markets, this paper discusses how a popular valuation model (the Discounted Cash Flow model) idealizes reality and how the market participants de-idealize it in concrete market situations. In contrast to Cartwright's view that economic models are generally over-constrained, this paper suggests that valuation models are (...)
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  32. Economics is a Serious and Difficult Subject.Roger E. Backhouse - 2012 - Journal of Economic Methodology 19 (3):231-241.
    This paper argues that by focusing on simple problems that can be resolved by the use of simple economic logic, usually involving the assumption that agents are rational, the economics-as-fun literature inevitably distracts from more difficult problems that are harder to solve and which may need to be tackled in different ways and may create a bias towards solutions that rely on the market.
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  33. Economic Page Turners.Björn Frank - 2012 - Journal of Economic Methodology 19 (3):317-327.
    Economic page turners like Freakonomics are well written and there is much to be learned from them ? not only about economics, but also about writing techniques. Their authors know how to build up suspense, i.e., they make readers want to know what comes. An uncountable number of pages in books and magazines are filled with advice on writing reportages or suspense novels. While many of the tips are specific to the respective genres, some carry over to economic page turners (...)
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  34. Realism, Commonsensibles, and Economics:The Case of Contemporary Revealed Preference Theory.D. Wade Hands - 2012 - In Aki Lehtinen, Jaakko Kuorikoski & Petri Ylikoski (eds.), Economics for Real: Uskali Mäki and the Place of Truth in Economics. Routledge. pp. 156-178.
    This paper challenges Mäki's argument about commonsensibles by offering a case study from contemporary microeconomics – contemporary revealed preference theory (hereafter CRPT) – where terms like "preference," "utility," and to some extent "choice," are radical departures from the common sense meanings of these terms. Although the argument challenges the claim that economics is inhabited solely by commonsensibles, it is not inconsistent with such folk notions being common in economic theory.
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  35. The World in the Model: How Economists Work and Think.Mary S. Morgan - 2012 - Cambridge University Press: Cambridge.
    During the last two centuries, the way economic science is done has changed radically: it has become a social science based on mathematical models in place of words. This book describes and analyses that change - both historically and philosophically - using a series of case studies to illuminate the nature and the implications of these changes. It is not a technical book; it is written for the intelligent person who wants to understand how economics works from the inside out. (...)
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  36. Idealization and the Aims of Economics: Three Cheers for Instrumentalism: Julian Reiss.Julian Reiss - 2012 - Economics and Philosophy 28 (3):363-383.
    This paper aims to provide characterizations of realism and instrumentalism that are philosophically interesting and applicable to economics; and to defend instrumentalism against realism as a methodological stance in economics. Starting point is the observation that ‘all models are false’, which, or so I argue, is difficult to square with the realist's aim of truth, even if the latter is understood as ‘partial’ or ‘approximate’. The three cheers in favour of instrumentalism are: Once we have usefulness, truth is redundant. There (...)
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  37. The Explanation Paradox.Julian Reiss - 2012 - Journal of Economic Methodology 19 (1):43-62.
    This paper examines mathematical models in economics and observes that three mutually inconsistent hypotheses concerning models and explanation are widely held: (1) economic models are false; (2) economic models are nevertheless explanatory; and (3) only true accounts explain. Commentators have typically resolved the paradox by rejecting either one of these hypotheses. I will argue that none of the proposed resolutions work and conclude that therefore the paradox is genuine and likely to stay.
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  38. Economic Methodology: Understanding Economics as a Science.Ivan A. Boldyrev - 2011 - Journal of Economic Methodology 18 (4):427-432.
  39. Imagining the Imaginable: A Reinterpretation of the Function of Economists' Concern About Structural Isomorphism in Economic Theorizing.Szu-Ting Chen - 2011 - Journal of Economic Methodology 18 (1):53-78.
    By using a metatheoretical interpretation of the development of international trade theory as an example, I illustrate that, as is manifested in the practices of economic theorization, a theoretical representation can be decomposed into two component representations: a formal representation and a causal narrative representation. I further maintain that, with respect to both component representations, the concern of isomorphism is important in that it is the guiding idea that underlies economists' practice of identifying both an adequate formal model and a (...)
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  40. Evidential Variety as a Source of Credibility for Causal Inference: Beyond Sharp Designs and Structural Models.François Claveau - 2011 - Journal of Economic Methodology 18 (3):233-253.
    There is an ongoing debate in economics between the design-based approach and the structural approach. The main locus of contention regards how best to pursue the quest for credible causal inference. Each approach emphasizes one element ? sharp study designs versus structural models ? but these elements have well-known limitations. This paper investigates where a researcher might look for credibility when, for the causal question under study, these limitations are binding. It argues that seeking variety of evidence ? understood specifically (...)
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  41. Buyer Beware: Robustness Analyses in Economics and Biology.Jay Odenbaugh & Anna Alexandrova - 2011 - Biology and Philosophy 26 (5):757-771.
    Theoretical biology and economics are remarkably similar in their reliance on mathematical models, which attempt to represent real world systems using many idealized assumptions. They are also similar in placing a great emphasis on derivational robustness of modeling results. Recently philosophers of biology and economics have argued that robustness analysis can be a method for confirmation of claims about causal mechanisms, despite the significant reliance of these models on patently false assumptions. We argue that the power of robustness analysis has (...)
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  42. Full Information, Well-Being, and Reasonable Desires.Yonatan Shemmer - 2011 - Utilitas 23 (2):206-227.
    According to Railton: x is good for me iff my Fully Informed Self (FIS) while contemplating my situation would want me to want x. I offer four interpretations of this view. The first three are inadequate. Their inadequacy rests on the following two facts: (a) my FIS cannot want me to want what would be irrational for me to want, (b) when contemplating what is rational for me to want we must specify a particular way in which I could rationally (...)
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  43. Internal Consistency, Price Rigidity and the Microfoundations of Macroeconomics.Simon Wren-Lewis - 2011 - Journal of Economic Methodology 18 (2):129-146.
    Macromodels based on microfoundations represent the dominant approach in macroeconomics. These models appear to adopt a clear methodological approach, which promotes internal consistency above external consistency as a necessary condition of admissibility. This paper develops two arguments. The first is that internal consistency makes the development of microfounded macromodels dependent on the pace of theoretical innovation. This had led to an internal debate between ?pragmatists? who argue for limited departures from internal consistency, and ?purists? who claim that this would compromise (...)
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  44. Elements of an Evolutionary Theory of Welfare: Assessing Welfare When Preferences Change.Martin Binder - 2010 - Routledge.
    It has always been an important task of economics to assess individual and social welfare. The traditional approach has assumed that the measuring rod for welfare is the satisfaction of the individual’s given and unchanging preferences, but recent work in behavioural economics has called this into question by pointing out the inconsistencies and context-dependencies of human behaviour. When preferences are no longer consistent, we have to ask whether a different measure for individual welfare can, and should, be found. This book (...)
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  45. Economic Modelling as Robustness Analysis.Jaakko Kuorikoski, Aki Lehtinen & Caterina Marchionni - 2010 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 61 (3):541-567.
    We claim that the process of theoretical model refinement in economics is best characterised as robustness analysis: the systematic examination of the robustness of modelling results with respect to particular modelling assumptions. We argue that this practise has epistemic value by extending William Wimsatt's account of robustness analysis as triangulation via independent means of determination. For economists robustness analysis is a crucial methodological strategy because their models are often based on idealisations and abstractions, and it is usually difficult to tell (...)
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  46. Progress in Economics: Lessons From the Spectrum Auctions.Anna Alexandrova & Robert Northcott - 2009 - In Harold Kincaid & Don Ross (eds.), The Oxford Handbook of Philosophy of Economics. Oxford University Press. pp. 306--337.
    The 1994 US spectrum auction is now a paradigmatic case of the successful use of microeconomic theory for policy-making. We use a detailed analysis of it to review standard accounts in philosophy of science of how idealized models are connected to messy reality. We show that in order to understand what made the design of the spectrum auction successful, a new such account is required, and we present it here. Of especial interest is the light this sheds on the issue (...)
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  47. Idealization Xiii: Modeling in History.Krzysztof Brzechczyn (ed.) - 2009 - Rodopi.
    The book reveals different dimensions of modeling in the historical sciences. Papers collected in the first part (Ontology of the Historical Process) consider different models of historical reality and discuss their status. The second part (Modeling in the Methodology of History) presents various forms of idealization in historiographic research. The papers in the third part (Modeling in the Research Practice) present various models of past reality (e.g. of Poland, Central Europe and the general history of the feudal system) put forward (...)
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  48. The Cult of Statistical Significance: How the Standard Error Costs Us Jobs, Justice, and Lives.Chee Kian Leong - 2009 - Journal of Economic Methodology 16 (4):431-434.
  49. Novelty and the Bounds of Unknowledge in Economics.Ulrich Witt - 2009 - Journal of Economic Methodology 16 (4):361-375.
    Economic development and growth are driven by the emergence of new technologies, new products and services, new institutions, new policies, and so on. Important though it is, the emergence of novelty is not well understood. Epistemological and methodological problems make it a difficult research topic. They imply a ?bound of unknowledge? (Shackle) for economic theorizing wherever novelty occurs in economic life. To make progress, this paper takes stock of the problems. The methodological consequences for causal explanations and the modelling of (...)
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  50. What Experimental Economics Teaches Us About Models. [REVIEW]Anna Alexandrova - 2008 - Journal of Economic Methodology 15:197-204.
1 — 50 / 93