IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/a/bla/econom/v76y2009is1p845-856.html
   My bibliography  Save this article

Some Legacies of Robbins' "An Essay on the Nature and Significance of Economic Science"

Author

Listed:
  • RICHARD G. LIPSEY

Abstract

This paper criticizes 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 generalizations 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. Copyright (c) The London School of Economics and Political Science 2009.

Suggested Citation

  • Richard G. Lipsey, 2009. "Some Legacies of Robbins' "An Essay on the Nature and Significance of Economic Science"," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 76(s1), pages 845-856, October.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:econom:v:76:y:2009:i:s1:p:845-856
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.blackwell-synergy.com/doi/abs/10.1111/j.1468-0335.2009.00792.x
    File Function: link to full text
    Download Restriction: Access to full text is restricted to subscribers.

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to search for a different version of it.

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Tobin, James, 1981. "The Monetarist Counter-Revolution Today-An Appraisal," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 91(361), pages 29-42, March.
    2. Dani Rodrik, 2008. "Goodbye Washington Consensus, Hello Washington Confusion? A Review of the World Banks Economic Growth in the 1990s: Learning from a Decade of Reform," Panoeconomicus, Savez ekonomista Vojvodine, Novi Sad, Serbia, vol. 55(2), pages 135-156, June.
    3. Rosenberg,Nathan, 1994. "Exploring the Black Box," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521459556.
    4. Ruttan, Vernon W., 2006. "Is War Necessary for Economic Growth?: Military Procurement and Technology Development," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780195188042.
    5. Lipsey, Richard G. & Carlaw, Kenneth I. & Bekar, Clifford T., 2005. "Economic Transformations: General Purpose Technologies and Long-Term Economic Growth," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780199290895.
    6. Robert Goldfarb & Jonathan Ratner, 2009. "Exploring different visions of the model-empirics nexus: Solow versus Lipsey," Journal of Economic Methodology, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 16(2), pages 159-174.
    7. Richard Lipsey, 2001. "Successes and failures in the transformation of economics," Journal of Economic Methodology, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 8(2), pages 169-201.
    8. Richard Lipsey, 2007. "Reflections on the general theory of second best at its golden jubilee," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 14(4), pages 349-364, August.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Thiago Dumont Oliveira & Carlos Eduardo Suprinyak, 2016. "Lionel Robbins’ first-step individualism and the prehistory of microfoundations," Textos para Discussão Cedeplar-UFMG 537, Cedeplar, Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais.
    2. Richard G. Lipsey, 2016. "A RECONSIDERATION OF THE THEORY OF NON-LINEAR SCALE EFFECTS: Causes and Consequences of Varying Returns to, and Economies of, Scale," Discussion Papers dp16-04, Department of Economics, Simon Fraser University.

    More about this item

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:bla:econom:v:76:y:2009:i:s1:p:845-856. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Wiley-Blackwell Digital Licensing) or (Christopher F. Baum). General contact details of provider: http://edirc.repec.org/data/lsepsuk.html .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.