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The Scottish Political Economy Tradition and Modern Economics


  • Dow, Alexander
  • Dow, Sheila
  • Hutton, Alan


The purpose of this article is to reexamine the notion of a Scottish tradition in political economy in the light of recent developments in the methodology of economics. Consideration is given to the concept of tradition itself, which puts the focus on approach to theorizing and the relationship between theory and reality rather than theoretical content. It is argued that the Scottish approach provided the foundations for much of modern political economy. Further, modern discussion of constructivism and critical realism can both be seen to have precedents in the Scottish tradition. Indeed the Scottish political economy tradition provides an exemplar of the constructive blending of the two strands. Copyright 1997 by Scottish Economic Society.

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  • Dow, Alexander & Dow, Sheila & Hutton, Alan, 1997. "The Scottish Political Economy Tradition and Modern Economics," Scottish Journal of Political Economy, Scottish Economic Society, vol. 44(4), pages 368-383, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:scotjp:v:44:y:1997:i:4:p:368-83

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Wolfgang Scheremet, 1995. "Tarifpolitik in Ostdeutschland: Ausstieg aus dem Lohnverhandlungsmodell der Bundesrepublik Deutschland?," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 113, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
    2. Lars Calmfors, 1993. "Centralisation of Wage Bargaining and Macroeconomic Performance: A Survey," OECD Economics Department Working Papers 131, OECD Publishing.
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    Cited by:

    1. Flavio Comim, 2002. "The Scottish Tradition in Economics and the Role of Common Sense in Adam Smith's Thought," Review of Political Economy, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 14(1), pages 91-114.
    2. repec:hal:journl:dumas-00910208 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. John Finch, 2000. "Is post-Marshallian economics an evolutionary research tradition?," The European Journal of the History of Economic Thought, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 7(3), pages 377-406.

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