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Why Economics Should Be a Modest and Reasonable Science

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  • Luiz Carlos Bresser-Pereira

Abstract

Unlike the methodological sciences, such as mathematics and decision theory, which use the hypothetical-deductive method and may be fully expressed in complex mathematical models because their only truth criterion is logical consistency; the substantive sciences that have as their truth criterion the correspondence to reality, adopt an empirical-deductive method, and are supposed to generalize from often unreliable regularities and tendencies. Given this assumption, it is very difficult for economists to predict economic behavior, particularly major financial crises.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by M.E. Sharpe, Inc. in its journal Journal of Economic Issues.

Volume (Year): 46 (2012)
Issue (Month): 2 (June)
Pages: 291-302

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Handle: RePEc:mes:jeciss:v:46:y:2012:i:2:p:291-302

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Web page: http://www.mesharpe.com/mall/results1.asp?acr=jei

Related research

Keywords: method; modesty; neoclassical economics; probability; uncertainty;

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  1. Hausman,Daniel M., 1992. "The Inexact and Separate Science of Economics," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521425230, October.
  2. Bresser Pereira,Luiz Carlos, 2010. "Globalization and Competition," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521196352, October.
  3. A.L. Keith Acheson, 2010. "Globalization," Carleton Economic Papers 10-01, Carleton University, Department of Economics.
  4. Hausman,Daniel M., 1992. "The Inexact and Separate Science of Economics," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521415019, October.
  5. Bresser-Pereira, Luiz Carlos (Luiz Carlos Bresser), 2011. "Structuralist macroeconomics and new developmentalism," Textos para discussão 298, Escola de Economia de São Paulo, Getulio Vargas Foundation (Brazil).
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