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Wesley Mitchell: Institutions and Quantitative Methods


  • Malcolm Rutherford


This article examines the link between W. C. Mitchell's quantitative methodology and his attachment to institutionalism. It is argued that, for Mitchell, quantitative analysis was an approach to an institutional economics, and that his methodological ideas were developed as much from his rejection of orthodox psychologism as from his more general views on the nature of science. In addition, it is shown that the difficulties and paradoxes in Mitchell's methodological work stem from his search for a more critical method together with his failure to entirely reject justificationist ideas.

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  • Malcolm Rutherford, 1987. "Wesley Mitchell: Institutions and Quantitative Methods," Eastern Economic Journal, Eastern Economic Association, vol. 13(1), pages 63-73, Jan-Mar.
  • Handle: RePEc:eej:eeconj:v:13:y:1987:i:1:p:63-73

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    1. repec:mes:jeciss:v:13:y:1979:i:4:p:957-972 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Leamer, Edward E, 1983. "Let's Take the Con Out of Econometrics," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 73(1), pages 31-43, March.
    3. Arthur F. Burns & Wesley C. Mitchell, 1946. "Measuring Business Cycles," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number burn46-1, January.
    4. Akerlof, George A, 1983. "Loyalty Filters," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 73(1), pages 54-63, March.
    5. Wesley C. Mitchell, 1910. "The Rationality of Economic Activity," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 18, pages 197-197.
    6. repec:mes:jeciss:v:17:y:1983:i:4:p:867-899 is not listed on IDEAS
    7. Milton Friedman, 1952. "The Economic Theorist," NBER Chapters,in: Wesley Clair Mitchell: The Economic Scientist, pages 235-282 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    8. Malcolm Rutherford, 1984. "Thorstein Veblen and the Processes of Institutional Change," History of Political Economy, Duke University Press, vol. 16(3), pages 331-348, Fall.
    9. Mayer, Thomas, 1980. "Economics as a Hard Science: Realistic Goal or Wishful Thinking?," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 18(2), pages 165-178, April.
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