Economic methodology has traditionally been associated with logical positivism in the vein of Milton Friedman, Karl Popper, Imre Lakatos and Thomas Kuhn. However, the emergence and proliferation of new research programs in economics have stimulated many novel developments in economic methodology. This impressive Companion critically examines these advances in methodological thinking, particularly those that are associated with the new research programs which challenge standard economic methodology. Bringing together a collection of leading contributors to this new methodological thinking, the authors explain how it differs from the past and point towards further concerns and future issues. The recent research programs explored include behavioral and experimental economics, neuroeconomics, new welfare theory, happiness and subjective well-being research, geographical economics, complexity and computational economics, agent-based modeling, evolutionary thinking, macroeconomics and Keynesianism after the crisis, and new thinking about the status of the economics profession and the role of the media in economics. This important compendium will prove invaluable for researchers and postgraduate students of economic methodology and the philosophy of economics. Practitioners in the vanguard of new economic thinking will also find plenty of useful information in this path-breaking book.
Economic Methodology explores the status and character of economics as a social science and introduces students to philosophical issues underlying modern science. Approaching the subject as philosophy of science for economists, the authors use the historical developments in philosophy of science to frame this introduction to the field of economic methodology. By doing this they strengthen students' understanding of economics as a science to enhance their reasoning skills, introducing them to the wider philosophical issues surrounding our understanding of the area.
This book brings together, for the first time, philosophers of pragmatism and economists interested in methodological questions. The main theoretical thrust of Dewey is to unite inquiry with behavior and this book's contributions assess this insight in the light of developments in modern American philosophy, social and legal theories, and the theoretical orientation of economics. This unique book contains impressive contributions from a range of different perspectives and its unique nature will make it required reading for academics involved with philosophy and economics.
While work on economic methodology has increased this has been coupled with a lack of consensus about the direction and content of the discipline. This book reflects this growing diversity with contributions from the leading methodologists.
Hahn on Methodology: The Quest for Understanding addresses two fundamental questions: (i) what is distinctive about economic theorising?; (ii) what is the cognitive value of the outcome of this activity of economic theorising, i.e. economic theory. We will argue that for Hahn, economic theorising is distinctive with respect to four dimensions. Firstly, the aim of economic theory is neither to describe nor explain the real economic world, as in the physical sciences. Rather the aim is to achieve objective, but non-scientific, understanding. Secondly, the central question for economic theory remains for Hahn how to understand, but not to predict as in physics for instance, how decentralised choices interact and perhaps get co-ordinated. Thirdly, Hahn identifies ‘three commitments’ without which, he argues, economic theorising for him is not possible. Finally, economic theorising has a distinctive approach, which Hahn calls its ‘grammar of argumentation’ .
Looks at ways to increase the scope and power of institutional economics. Different approaches to economic methodology are considered and the broader notions of rationality offered by institutional economics are discussed.
Roger Backhouse is a key figure in the field of economic methodology. Explorations in Economic Methodology both clarifies and responds to the issues raised by the literature and argues that methodology is an essential activity. Offering a constructive, but critical, response to the recent literature, this collection provides important new insights for students and researchers in economic methodology and the philosophy of science.
Lawrence Boland takes issue with both economic methodologists and practicing economists. He argues that there has been too much 'methodology for methodology's sake' and that mainstream economics might benefit by using methodology to take a critical look at economic theory.