Economic methodology


Economic methodology

Economic methodology is the study of methods, usually scientific method, in relation to economics (Boland, 1987, p. 455). The term 'methodology' is also commonly, though incorrectly, used as an impressive synonym for 'method' or technique.

Many of the general issues that arise in the methodology of the natural sciences are also applicable in economics. However, a number of particular issues have arisen, reflecting the nature of economics as a social science, the limited scope for experimental work and the prominent role of deductive and axiomatic methods in economics.

Important methodological issues in economics have included: methodological individualism; the relation of science to economics, discussed by John Stuart Mill, John Neville Keynes and Lionel Robbins; the role of simplifying assumptions, debated at length by Milton Friedman and Paul Samuelson among others; the role of "a priori" deduction, discussed by Ludwig von Mises; and the uses of the axiomatic method and formalization as represented in the work of Kenneth Arrow, John R. Hicks, and Amartya Sen.

Commonly-accepted methods and subjects in economics are described to as "mainstream economics." Other approaches are discussed in Heterodox economics.

ee also

* Model (economics)
* Philosophy of economics
* Positive economics

References

* Kenneth J. Arrow (1951), 2nd ed., 1963. "Social Choice and Individual Values"
* Roger E. Backhouse (2008). "methodology of economics," "The New Palgrave Dictionary of Economics, 2nd Edition. [http://www.dictionaryofeconomics.com/article?id=pde2008_M000393&q=methodology&topicid=&result_number=1 Abstract.]
* Mark Blaug (1980, new ed. 2006). "The Methodology of Economics: Or How Economists Explain". [http://books.google.com/books?id=T4y7HyduGnIC&dq=%22The+Methodology+of+Economics,+or+How+Economists+Explain%22&lr=&source=gbs_summary_s&cad=0 Preview.]
* Lawrence A. Boland (1987). "Methodology," "", v. 3, pp. 455-58
* Milton Friedman (1953). "Essays in Positive Economics"
* John R. Hicks (1939, 2nd ed. 1946). "Value and Capital: An Inquiry into Some Fundamental Principles of Economic Theory"
* Terence W. Hutchison (1938). "The Significance and Basic Postulates of Economic Theory"
* Ludwig von Mises (1949). "Human Action"
* Lionel Robbins (1932)."An Essay on the Nature and Significance of Economic Science"
* Paul A. Samuelson (1947). "Foundations of Economic Analysis"
* Vivian Walsh (1987). "models and theory," "", v. 3, pp. 482-83.

External links

* Daniel M. Hausman (2003). [http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/economics "Philosophy of Economics"] , "Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy"
* Milton Friedman (1953 [1970] ). [http://members.shaw.ca/compilerpress1/Anno%20Friedman%20Positive.htm "The Methodology of Positive Economics,"] (with link)
* John Neville Keynes (1891). [http://socserv.mcmaster.ca/econ/ugcm/3ll3/keynesjn/Scope.pdf "The Scope and Method of Political Economy"]
* J.S. Mill (1844) " [http://www.efm.bris.ac.uk/het/mill/question.pdf On the Definition of Political Economy; and On the Method...] ," , pp. 86-114.
* Lionel Robbins (1935, 2nd ed.). [http://www.mises.org/books/robbinsessay2.pdf "An Essay on the Nature and Significance of Economic Science"]
* [http://philecon.wordpress.com/ Homophileconomicus] (Philosophy and Economics Blog, with useful links, conference announcements, course syllabi, news concerning recent research, etc.)


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