Prediction versus accommodation in economics

Journal of Economic Methodology 26 (1):59-69 (2019)

Abstract

Should we insist on prediction, i.e. on correctly forecasting the future? Or can we rest content with accommodation, i.e. empirical success only with respect to the past? I apply general considerations about this issue to the case of economics. In particular, I examine various ways in which mere accommodation can be sufficient, in order to see whether those ways apply to economics. Two conclusions result. First, an entanglement thesis: the need for prediction is entangled with the methodological role of orthodox economic theory. Second, a conditional predictivism: if we are not committed to orthodox economic theory, then we should demand prediction rather than accommodation – against most current practice.

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Robert Northcott
Birkbeck, University of London

References found in this work

Thinking About Mechanisms.Peter Machamer, Lindley Darden & Carl F. Craver - 2000 - Philosophy of Science 67 (1):1-25.
Interpretation and the Sciences of Man.Charles Taylor - 1971 - Review of Metaphysics 25 (1):3 - 51.
Empirical Equivalence and Underdetermination.Larry Laudan & Jarrett Leplin - 1991 - Journal of Philosophy 88 (9):449-472.

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Citations of this work

On the Individuation of Choice Options.Roberto Fumagalli - 2020 - Philosophy of the Social Sciences 50 (4):338-365.

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