Recent Developments in Economic Methodology


Recent Developments in Economic Methodology



This important collection tackles the main developments and contributions by the leading individuals in the field of economic methodology since 1990.

Volume one looks at the chief historical developments, including articles on Popper and Lakatos, rhetoric and discourse, realism, constructivism, the economics of science, and symmetry and reflexivity.

The second volume focuses on new, leading approaches – feminist economic methodology, postmodernism, and methodological pluralism and open systems thinking – and also covers broad topics of concern – rationality, philosophy of mind, and evolution.

Volume three brings together articles explaining the methodological choices of economists, and includes sections on models and assumptions, econometrics, microeconomics and macroeconomics, normative themes, formalism, and history of economics. The volume concludes with a set of discussions on the present state of economic methodology.


978 1 84376 352 9

Publication Date



Edward Elgar Publishing







Volume I Acknowledgements

Introduction John B. Davis P

ART I POPPER AND LAKATOS 1. Bruce J. Caldwell (1991), ‘Clarifying Popper’ 2. Mark Blaug (1994), ‘Why I am Not a Constructivist: Confessions of an Unrepentant Popperian’ 3. Lawrence A. Boland (1994), ‘Scientific Thinking Without Scientific Method: Two Views of Popper’ 4. Roger E. Backhouse (2004), ‘The Methodology of Scientific Research Programmes’

PART II RHETORIC, DISCOURSE AND LANGUAGE 5. Vivienne Brown (1993), ‘Decanonizing Discourses: Textual Analysis and the History of Economic Thought’ 6. Donald N. McCloskey (1994), ‘How to Do a Rhetorical Analysis, and Why’ 7. Uskali Mäki (1995), ‘Diagnosing McCloskey’ 8. Maurice Lagueux (1999), ‘Do Metaphors Affect Economic Theory?’ PART III REALISM 9. Daniel M. Hausman (1998), ‘Problems with Realism in Economics’ 10. Uskali Mäki (1998), ‘Aspects of Realism about Economics’ 11. Jochen Runde (1998), ‘Assessing Causal Economic Explanations’ 12. Tony Lawson (1999), ‘What Has Realism Got to Do With It?’

PART IV CONSTRUCTIVISM AND SSK 13. D. Wade Hands (1994), ‘Restabilizing Dynamics: Construction and Constraint in the History of Walrasian Stability Theory’ 14. Francesco Guala (2001), ‘Building Economic Machines: The FCC Auctions’ 15. Matthias Klaes (2001), ‘Begriffsgeschichte: Between the Scylla of Conceptual and the Charybdis of Institutional History of Economics’ 16. A.W. Bob Coats (2003), ‘The Sociology of Economics and Scientific Knowledge, and the History of Economic Thought’

PART V ECONOMICS OF SCIENCE 17. Partha Dasgupta and Paul A. David (1994), ‘Toward A New Economics of Science’ 18. James R. Wible (1995), ‘The Economic Organization of Science, the Firm and the Marketplace’ 19. Esther-Mirjam Sent (1999), ‘Economics of Science: Survey and Suggestions’ PART VI SYMMETRY AND REFLEXIVITY 20. Steve Woolgar (1992), ‘Some Remarks about Positionism: A Reply to Collins and Yearley’ 21. Esther-Mirjam Sent (1998), ‘Sargent and the Unbearable Lightness of Symmetry’ 22. Uskali Mäki (1999), ‘Science as a Free Market: A Reflexivity Test in an Economics of Economics’ 23. John B. Davis and Matthias Klaes (2003), ‘Reflexivity: Curse or Cure?’ Name Index Volume II Acknowledgements An introduction to all three volumes by the editor appears in

Volume I PART I FEMINIST ECONOMIC METHODOLOGY 1. Julie A. Nelson (1992), ‘Gender, Metaphor, and the Definition of Economics’ 2. Diana Strassmann (1993), ‘The Stories of Economics and the Power of the Storyteller’ 3. Sandra Harding (1995), ‘Can Feminist Thought Make Economics More Objective?’ 4. Tony Lawson (2003), ‘Ontology and Feminist Theorizing’ 5. Edith Kuiper (2004), ‘Critical Realism and Feminist Economics: How Well Do They Get Along?’

PART II MARXISM AND POSTMODERNISM 6. William S. Milberg and Bruce A. Pietrykowski (1994), ‘Objectivism, Relativism and the Importance of Rhetoric for Marxist Economics’ 7. Jack Amariglio and David F. Ruccio (1994), ‘Postmodernism, Marxism, and the Critique of Modern Economic Thought’ 8. Geert Reuten (2000), ‘The Interconnection of Systematic Dialectics and Historical Materialism’ 9. Arjo Klamer (2001), ‘Late Modernism and the Loss of Character in Economics’ 10. S. Charusheela (2004), ‘Postcolonial Thought, Postmodernism, and Economics: Questions of Ontology and Ethics’

PART III METHODOLOGICAL PLURALISM AND OPEN SYSTEMS 11. Sheila C. Dow (1990), ‘Beyond Dualism’ 12. Warren J. Samuels (1997), ‘The Case for Methodological Pluralism’ 13. Brian J. Loasby (2003), ‘Closed Models and Open Systems’

PART IV RATIONALITY 14. Stephen Morris (1995), ‘The Common Prior Assumption in Economic Theory’ 15. Daniel M. Hausman (2000), ‘Revealed Preference, Belief, and Game Theory’ 16. Robin P. Cubitt, Chris Starmer and Robert Sugden (2001), ‘Discovered Preferences and the Experimental Evidence of Violations of Expected Utility Theory’ 17. Shaun Hargreaves Heap (2001), ‘Expressive Rationality: Is Self-Worth Just Another Kind of Preference?’

PART V THE AGENT AND PHILOSOPHY OF MIND 18. John B. Davis (1995), ‘Personal Identity and Standard Economic Theory’ 19. Philip Faulkner (2002), ‘The Human Agent in Behavioural Finance: A Searlean Perspective’ 20. Jack J. Vromen (2003), ‘Cognitive Science Meets Evolutionary Theory: What Implications does Evolutionary Psychology have for Economic Theorising?’

PART VI EVOLUTION 21. Geoffrey M. Hodgson (2002), ‘Darwinism in Economics: From Analogy to Ontology’ 22. Ulrich Witt (2004), ‘On the Proper Interpretation of “Evolution” in Economics and its Implications for Production Theory’ 23. Jack Vromen (2004), ‘Conjectural Revisionary Economic Ontology: Outline of an Ambitious Research Agenda for Evolutionary Economics’ Name Index

Volume III Acknowledgements An introduction to all three volumes by the editor appears in Volume I

PART I MODELS AND ASSUMPTIONS 1. Uskali Mäki (1992), ‘On the Method of Isolation in Economics’ 2. Nancy Cartwright (1995), ‘Ceteris Paribus Laws and Socio-Economic Machines’ 3. Marcel Boumans (1999), ‘Built-in Justification’ 4. Robert Sugden (2000), ‘Credible Worlds: The Status of Theoretical Models in Economics’ 5. Mary S. Morgan (2001), ‘Models, Stories and the Economic World’

PART II ECONOMETRICS 6. Philip Mirowski (1995), ‘Three Ways to Think About Testing in Econometrics’ 7. Deirdre N. McCloskey and Stephen T. Ziliak (1996), ‘The Standard Error of Regressions’ 8. Kevin D. Hoover and Stephen J. Perez (2000), ‘Three Attitudes Towards Data Mining’ 9. Kevin D. Hoover (2002), ‘Econometrics and Reality’

PART III MICROECONOMICS AND MACROECONOMICS 10. Alan P. Kirman (1992), ‘Whom or What Does the Representative Individual Represent?’ 11. Kevin D. Hoover (2001), ‘Is Macroeconomics for Real?’ 12. Alex Rosenberg (1995), ‘The Metaphysics of Microeconomics’ 13. Roger Backhouse and Andrea Salanti (1999), ‘The Methodology of Macroeconomics’ PART IV NORMATIVE THEMES 14. Amartya Sen (1993), ‘Capability and Well-Being’ 15. Amartya Sen (1995), ‘Rationality and Social Choice’ 16. Philippe Fontaine (1997), ‘Identification and Economic Behavior: Sympathy and Empathy in Historical Perspective’ 17. Philippe Mongin (2001), ‘The Impartial Observer Theorem of Social Ethics’

PART V FORMALISM IN ECONOMICS 18. E. Roy Weintraub (1998), ‘Controversy: Axiomatisches Mißverständnis’ 19. Roger E. Backhouse (1998), ‘If Mathematics is Informal, Then Perhaps We Should Accept That Economics Must Be Informal Too’ 20. D. Wade Hands (2003), ‘Did Milton Friedman’s Methodology License The Formalist Revolution?’

PART VI METHODOLOGY OUT OF HISTORY: THE CASE OF THE JEVONS 21. Harro Maas (2001), ‘An Instrument Can Make a Science: Jevons’s Balancing Acts in Economics’ 22. Julian Reiss (2001), ‘Natural Economic Quantities and their Measurement’

PART VII THE STATE OF ECONOMIC METHODOLOGY 23. E. Roy Weintraub (1989), ‘Methodology Doesn’t Matter, But the History of Thought Might’ 24. Uskali Mäki (1994), ‘Methodology Might Matter, but Weintraub’s Meta-Methodology Shouldn’t’ 25. D. Wade Hands (2001), ‘Economic Methodolgy is