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Fashion Cycles in Economics

Author

Listed:
  • Philip R. P. Coelho
  • Daniel B. Klein
  • James E. McClure

Abstract

We criticize an American Economic Review article that presents itself as a theory of design innovation and fashion cycles. Scrutinizing the model and surrounding prose, we suggest that the article does not make clear what it is that it purports to explain, and that the story of the model fails minimal requirements of factual relevance and intuitiveness. Our broader message is that many “theory†papers are best regarded as mere model-building, a genre of creative writing masquerading as science.

Suggested Citation

  • Philip R. P. Coelho & Daniel B. Klein & James E. McClure, 2004. "Fashion Cycles in Economics," Econ Journal Watch, Econ Journal Watch, vol. 1(3), pages 437-454, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:ejw:journl:v:1:y:2004:i:3:p:437-454
    as

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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Pesendorfer, Wolfgang, 1995. "Design Innovation and Fashion Cycles," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, pages 771-792.
    2. William L. Davis, 2004. "Preference Falsification in the Economics Profession," Econ Journal Watch, Econ Journal Watch, vol. 1(2), pages 359-368, August.
    3. Donald F. Gordon, 1955. "Operational Propositions in Economic Theory," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 63, pages 150-150.
    4. Edward J. Chambers & Donald F. Gordon, 1966. "Primary Products and Economic Growth: An Empirical Measurement," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 74, pages 315-315.
    5. Baumol, William J, 1990. "Sir John versus the Hicksians, or Theorist Malgre Lui?," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, pages 1708-1715.
    6. Leontief, Wassily, 1971. "Theoretical Assumptions and Nonobserved Facts," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 61(1), pages 1-7, March.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Fashion cycle; design; relevance; theory;

    JEL classification:

    • B40 - Schools of Economic Thought and Methodology - - Economic Methodology - - - General
    • B41 - Schools of Economic Thought and Methodology - - Economic Methodology - - - Economic Methodology
    • B49 - Schools of Economic Thought and Methodology - - Economic Methodology - - - Other

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