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On economic paradigms, rhetoric and the micro-foundations of macroeconomics

  • John S.L. McCombie

    (University of Cambridge, UK)

  • Ioana Negru

    (Anglia Ruskin University, Cambridge, UK)

This paper considers from a methodological point of view why disputes in macroeconomics over its fundamental assumptions regularly occur. It analyses the problem first using Kuhn's concept of the paradigm and then draws on McCloskey's use of rhetorical analysis. It finds the latter of limited help due to the problem of incommensurability between paradigms. It concludes with a discussion of the debate over the need for rethinking the issue and rigour of micro-foundations in macroeconomic theory, notably in terms of the representative agent model.

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Article provided by Edward Elgar Publishing in its journal European Journal of Economics and Economic Policies: Intervention.

Volume (Year): 11 (2014)
Issue (Month): 1 (April)
Pages: 53-66

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Handle: RePEc:elg:ejeepi:v:11:y:2014:i:1:p53-66
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elgaronline.com/ejeep

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  1. Thomas J. Sargent, 1980. "Interpreting economic time series," Staff Report 58, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  2. Mauro Gallegati & Alan Kirman (ed.), 1999. "Beyond the Representative Agent," Books, Edward Elgar Publishing, number 1375, June.
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  13. Deirdre McCloskey & Stephen Ziliak, 2008. "Signifying nothing: reply to Hoover and Siegler," Journal of Economic Methodology, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 15(1), pages 39-55.
  14. John S L McCombie, 2001. "Reflections on Economic Paradigms and Controversies in Economics," Zagreb International Review of Economics and Business, Faculty of Economics and Business, University of Zagreb, vol. 4(1), pages 1-26, May.
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  20. Jesus Felipe & John S.L. McCombie, 2013. "The Aggregate Production Function and the Measurement of Technical Change," Books, Edward Elgar Publishing, number 1975, June.
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