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Some Legacies of Robbins'Nature and Signifance of Economic Science

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Abstract

The Abstract of your paper: This paper criticises three Robbinsian positions still often found in modern economics: (1) the methodology of intuitively obvious assumptions; (2) treating facts as illustrations rather than as tests of theoretical propositions; (3) assuming that theory provides universally applicable generalisations independent of the characteristics of individual economies and so are independent of specific historical processes. Two corollaries of point (3) are that theory cannot assist in explaining unique historical events such as the emergence of sustained growth in the West and that economists need not interest themselves in the details of the technologies that produce the nation's wealth.

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File URL: http://www.sfu.ca/econ-research/RePEc/sfu/sfudps/dp08-01.pdf
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Department of Economics, Simon Fraser University in its series Discussion Papers with number dp08-01.

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Length: 18
Date of creation: Apr 2008
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:sfu:sfudps:dp08-01

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Postal: Department of Economics, Simon Fraser University, 8888 University Drive, Burnaby, BC, V5A 1S6, Canada
Phone: (778)782-3508
Fax: (778)782-5944
Web page: http://www.sfu.ca/economics.html
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Postal: Working Paper Coordinator, Department of Economics, Simon Fraser University, 8888 University Drive, Burnaby, BC, V5A 1S6, Canada
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Web: http://www.sfu.ca/economics/research/publications.html

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Keywords: methodology; economic generalisations; measurement; positive economics; historical specificity;

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