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Os dois métodos da teoria econômica

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  • Pereira, Luiz Carlos Bresser

Abstract

Economic theory deals with a complex reality, which may be seenthrough various perspectives, using different methods. Economics’ three majorbranches – development economics, macroeconomics, and microeconomics –cannot be unified because the former two use preferentially a historical-deductive,while the later, an essentially hypothetical-deductive or aprioristic method. Smith,Marx and Keynes used an essentially the method of the new historical facts, whileWalras, an aprioristic one to devise the neoclassical general equilibrium model. Thehistorical-deductive method looks for the new historical facts that condition theeconomic reality. Economic theory remains central, but it is more modest, or lessgeneral, as the economist that adopt principally this method is content to analyzestabilization and growth in the framework of a given historical phase or moment ofthe economic process. As a trade off, his models are more realistic and conducive tomore effective economic policies, as long as he is not required to previouslyabandon, one by one, the unrealistic assumptions required by a excessively generaltheory, but already starts from more realistic ones

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Escola de Economia de São Paulo, Getulio Vargas Foundation (Brazil) in its series Textos para discussão with number 127.

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Date of creation: 01 Jul 2003
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Handle: RePEc:fgv:eesptd:127

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