Persuasion: Reflections on Economics, Data and the 'Homogeneity Assumption'
AbstractThis paper discusses issues to do with the empirical basis of modern economics and points towards the need to look more closely at the ‘homogeneity assumption’ that underpins much economic theory. It argues that severe problems currently prevent economics from becoming more persuasive to both students of economics and those outside the discipline. The issue involves the management of disciplinary boundaries, and excessive use of the ‘homogeneity assumption.’ Three areas of concern are explored. First is the literature on causes of growth, and the role of policy. The paper documents reasons to doubt the existence of robust relationships between growth and policy variables. Second is the ‘homogeneity assumption’ that different countries are usefully viewed as members of a single population. Third is evidence suggesting that an assumption of ‘normal’ maximizing behaviour has to be justified, not just assumed, and that regular deviations from the usual maximizing assumptions occur with gender and culture. The paper argues that a central issue in economic methodology and pedagogy should be, as North implicitly argues, the negotiation of disciplinary boundaries: what economics can versus cannot explain. It suggests more explicitly basing the choice of explanatory models on empirics identifying where the model applies.
Download InfoIf you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by The University of Melbourne in its series Department of Economics - Working Papers Series with number 919.
Length: 42 pages
Date of creation: 2004
Date of revision:
Contact details of provider:
Postal: Department of Economics, The University of Melbourne, 5th Floor, Economics and Commerce Building, Victoria, 3010, Australia
Phone: +61 3 8344 5289
Fax: +61 3 8344 6899
Web page: http://www.economics.unimelb.edu.au
More information through EDIRC
homogeneity; neo- institutional economics; robustness testing; methodology; policy advice; experimental economics.;
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Widmalm, Frida, 2001. " Tax Structure and Growth: Are Some Taxes Better Than Others?," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 107(3-4), pages 199-219, June.
- Arrow, Kenneth J, 1986. "Rationality of Self and Others in an Economic System," The Journal of Business, University of Chicago Press, vol. 59(4), pages S385-99, October.
- Seccareccia, M. & Lavoie, M., 1995. "Central Bank Austerity Policy, Zero-Inflation targets and Productivity Growth in Canada," Working Papers 9520e, University of Ottawa, Department of Economics.
- Dennis D. Kimko & Eric A. Hanushek, 2000. "Schooling, Labor-Force Quality, and the Growth of Nations," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(5), pages 1184-1208, December.
- Bruno, Michael & Easterly, William, 1995.
"Inflation crises and long-run growth,"
Policy Research Working Paper Series
1517, The World Bank.
- McAleer, Michael & Pagan, Adrian, 1985.
"What Will Take the Con Out of Econometrics?,"
CEPR Discussion Papers
39, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
- Bruton, H.J., 1998. "A Reconsideration of Import Substitution," Center for Development Economics 156, Department of Economics, Williams College.
- Henry J. Bruton, 1998. "A Reconsideration of Import Substitution," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 36(2), pages 903-936, June.
- Easterly, William & Levine, Ross, 1997.
"Africa's Growth Tragedy: Policies and Ethnic Divisions,"
The Quarterly Journal of Economics,
MIT Press, vol. 112(4), pages 1203-50, November.
- Easterly, W & Levine, R, 1996. "Africa's Growth Tragedy : Policies and Ethnic Divisions," Papers 536, Harvard - Institute for International Development.
- Torstensson, Johan, 1994. "Property Rights and Economic Growth: An Empirical Study," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 47(2), pages 231-47.
- Kevin Hoover & Harris Dellas, 2003.
"Truth and Robustness in Cross-country Growth Regressions,"
11, University of California, Davis, Department of Economics.
- Kevin D. Hoover & Stephen J. Perez, 2004. "Truth and Robustness in Cross-country Growth Regressions," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 66(5), pages 765-798, December.
- Kevin D. Hoover & Stephen J. Perez, . "Truth and Robustness in Cross-country Growth Regressions," Department of Economics 01-01, California Davis - Department of Economics.
- Hoover, Kevin, 2000. "Truth and Robustness in Cross-Country Growth Regression," Working Papers 01-1, University of California at Davis, Department of Economics.
- W. Robert & J. Alexander, 1997. "Inflation and economic growth: evidence from a growth equation," Applied Economics, Taylor and Francis Journals, vol. 29(2), pages 233-238.
- Panicos O. Demetriades & Spiros Bougheas, 1995.
"Infrastructure, Specialisation and Economic Growth,"
Keele Department of Economics Discussion Papers (1995-2001)
95/15, Department of Economics, Keele University.
- Spiros Bougheas & Panicos O. Demetriades & Theofanis P. Mamuneas, 2000. "Infrastructure, specialization, and economic growth," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 33(2), pages 506-522, May.
- Shouyong Shi, 1998.
"Search, Inflation, and Capital Accumulation,"
971, Queen's University, Department of Economics.
- Patrick Plane, 1997. "Privatization and economic growth: an empirical investigation from a sample of developing market economies," Applied Economics, Taylor and Francis Journals, vol. 29(2), pages 161-178.
- William A. Brock & Steven N.Durlauf, 2000.
"Growth Economics and Reality,"
NBER Working Papers
8041, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Simon, Herbert A, 1986. "Rationality in Psychology and Economics," The Journal of Business, University of Chicago Press, vol. 59(4), pages S209-24, October.
- Benhabib, Jess & Spiegel, Mark M, 2000. " The Role of Financial Development in Growth and Investment," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 5(4), pages 341-60, December.
- Cameron, Lisa A, 1999. "Raising the Stakes in the Ultimatum Game: Experimental Evidence from Indonesia," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 37(1), pages 47-59, January.
- Temple, Jonathan, 2000. " Inflation and Growth: Stories Short and Tall," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 14(4), pages 395-426, September.
- Smith, Vernon L, 1985. "Experimental Economics: Reply," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 75(1), pages 264-72, March.
- Jeffrey D. Sachs & Andrew Warner, 1995.
"Economic Reform and the Process of Global Integration,"
Brookings Papers on Economic Activity,
Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 26(1, 25th A), pages 1-118.
- Jeffrey Sachs & Andrew Warner, 1995. "Economic Reform and the Progress of Global Integration," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 1733, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
- Levine, Ross & Renelt, David, 1991.
"A sensitivity analysis of cross-country growth regressions,"
Policy Research Working Paper Series
609, The World Bank.
- Levine, Ross & Renelt, David, 1992. "A Sensitivity Analysis of Cross-Country Growth Regressions," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 82(4), pages 942-63, September.
- Robert S. Goldfarb & H. O. Stekler, 2000. "Why Do Empirical Results Change? Forecasts as Tests of Rational Expectations," History of Political Economy, Duke University Press, vol. 32(5), pages 95-116, Supplemen.
- Dotsey, Michael & Sarte, Pierre Daniel, 2000. "Inflation uncertainty and growth in a cash-in-advance economy," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 45(3), pages 631-655, June.
- Clarke, George R. G., 1995.
"More evidence on income distribution and growth,"
Journal of Development Economics,
Elsevier, vol. 47(2), pages 403-427, August.
- Ben-David, Dan, 1993. "Equalizing Exchange: Trade Liberalization and Income Convergence," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 108(3), pages 653-79, August.
- Habib Ahmed & Stephen M. Miller, 1999. "Crowding-Out and Crowding-In Effects of the Components of Government Expenditure," Working papers 1999-02, University of Connecticut, Department of Economics.
- Eckel, Catherine C & Grossman, Philip J, 1998. "Are Women Less Selfish Than Men? Evidence from Dictator Experiments," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 108(448), pages 726-35, May.
- Easterly, William & Loayza, Norman & Montiel, Peter, 1997.
"Has Latin America's post-reform growth been disappointing?,"
Policy Research Working Paper Series
1708, The World Bank.
- Easterly, William & Loayza, Norman & Montiel, Peter, 1997. "Has Latin America's post-reform growth been disappointing?," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 43(3-4), pages 287-311, November.
- Sung Kim & Thomas Willett, 2000. "Is the negative correlation between inflation and growth real? An analysis of the effects of the oil supply shocks," Applied Economics Letters, Taylor and Francis Journals, vol. 7(3), pages 141-147.
- Dollar, David, 1992. "Outward-Oriented Developing Economies Really Do Grow More Rapidly: Evidence from 95 LDCs, 1976-1985," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 40(3), pages 523-44, April.
- Hendry, David F & Mizon, Grayham Ernest, 1985. "Procrustean Econometrics: Stretching and Squeezing Data," CEPR Discussion Papers 68, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
- Berthelemy, Jean-Claude & Varoudakis, Aristomene, 1996. "Economic Growth, Convergence Clubs, and the Role of Financial Development," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 48(2), pages 300-328, April.
- Kidd, Michael P & Shannon, Michael, 1997. "Imputation of Female Labour Market Experience: Some Australian Evidence on the Zabalza and Arrufat Method," The Economic Record, The Economic Society of Australia, vol. 73(221), pages 136-45, June.
- Eckel, Catherine C. & Grossman, Philip J., 2008. "Differences in the Economic Decisions of Men and Women: Experimental Evidence," Handbook of Experimental Economics Results, Elsevier.
- H. Ahmed & SM. Miller, 2000. "Crowding-out and crowding-in effects of the components of government expenditure," Contemporary Economic Policy, Western Economic Association International, vol. 18(1), pages 124-133, 01.
- Pantelis Kalaitzidakis & Theofanis P. Mamuneas & Thanasis Stengos, 2000. "A non-linear sensitivity analysis of cross-country growth regressions," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 33(3), pages 604-617, August.
- Francisco Rodriguez & Dani Rodrik, 1999. "Trade Policy and Economic Growth: A Skeptic's Guide to Cross-National Evidence," NBER Working Papers 7081, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Kenny, Charles & Williams, David, 2001. "What Do We Know About Economic Growth? Or, Why Don't We Know Very Much?," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 29(1), pages 1-22, January.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Marisa Cerantola).
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.