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La démarche narrative en économie


  • Hervé Dumez
  • Alain Jeunemaître


Economic analysis appears primarily based on modelisation and making use of quantitative methods. In particular narratives on case studies which had for long prevailed in industrial economics have noticeably receded. Yet, is it as straightforward? Is it not thinkable to propose a structured narrative approach that would have increased scientific legitimacy and added diversity in the field? The paper focuses on these issues. The first part discusses to what extent narratives may be said having disappeared from economics scientific production. It illustrates that they still play an effective ancillary role as a key source for theorisation. Evidence is given from the analysis of the qwerty story and its relationship to the emergence of the path dependency theory. Other seminal economic works are reviewed which show that, properly performed, the narrative approach has scope for bringing new insights under the dominant quantitative perspective. Then, the second part of the paper concentrates on the narrative approach as an exploratory method and on the circumstances under which it may lead to innovative developments. Classification JEL : B 41

Suggested Citation

  • Hervé Dumez & Alain Jeunemaître, 2005. "La démarche narrative en économie," Revue économique, Presses de Sciences-Po, vol. 56(4), pages 983-1005.
  • Handle: RePEc:cai:recosp:reco_564_0983

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Robert H. Bates & Avner Greif & Margaret Levi & Jean-Laurent Rosenthal, 1998. "Analytic Narratives," Economics Books, Princeton University Press, edition 1, number 6355.
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    3. Arrow, Kenneth J, 1985. "Economic History: A Necessary Thought Not Sufficient Condition for an Economist: Maine and Texas," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 75(2), pages 320-323, May.
    4. Joskow, Paul L. & Rose, Nancy L., 1989. "The effects of economic regulation," Handbook of Industrial Organization,in: R. Schmalensee & R. Willig (ed.), Handbook of Industrial Organization, edition 1, volume 2, chapter 25, pages 1449-1506 Elsevier.
    5. William James Adams & Janet L. Yellen, 1976. "Commodity Bundling and the Burden of Monopoly," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 90(3), pages 475-498.
    6. Liebowitz, S J & Margolis, Stephen E, 1990. "The Fable of the Keys," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 33(1), pages 1-25, April.
    7. Block, Michael Kent & Nold, Frederick Carl, 1981. "The Deterrent Effect of Antitrust Enforcement," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 89(3), pages 429-445, June.
    8. Mueller, Dennis C., 1997. "First-mover advantages and path dependence," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 15(6), pages 827-850, October.
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    Cited by:

    1. Jérémy Eydieux & Stéphanie Tillement & Benoît Journé, 2016. "Élaboration des démonstrations et des évaluations de sûreté : une approche pragmatiste," Post-Print hal-01546183, HAL.
    2. Mourad Hannachi & Francois-Christophe Coleno, 2016. "Towards a managerial engineering of coopetition," Post-Print hal-01242333, HAL.
    3. Corentin Curchod, 2008. "Stratégies d’intermédiation et dynamiques de chaînes de valeur:leçons tirées de l’intermédiation électronique," Revue Finance Contrôle Stratégie,, vol. 11(2), pages 7-28, June.

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