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Why Economics Should Be a Modest and Reasonable Science

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  • Luiz Bresser-Pereira

Abstract

Unlike the methodological sciences, such as mathematics and decision theory, which use the hypothetical-deductive method and may be fully expressed in complex mathematical models because their only truth criterion is logical consistency; the substantive sciences that have as their truth criterion the correspondence to reality, adopt an empirical-deductive method, and are supposed to generalize from often unreliable regularities and tendencies. Given this assumption, it is very difficult for economists to predict economic behavior, particularly major financial crises.

Suggested Citation

  • Luiz Bresser-Pereira, 2012. "Why Economics Should Be a Modest and Reasonable Science," Journal of Economic Issues, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 46(2), pages 291-302.
  • Handle: RePEc:mes:jeciss:v:46:y:2012:i:2:p:291-302
    DOI: 10.2753/JEI0021-3624460204
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Keith Acheson, 2011. "Globalization," Chapters,in: A Handbook of Cultural Economics, Second Edition, chapter 31 Edward Elgar Publishing.
      • Keith Acheson, 2003. "Globalization," Chapters,in: A Handbook of Cultural Economics, chapter 31 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    2. Robert Delorme, 2010. "Deep Complexity and the Social Sciences," Books, Edward Elgar Publishing, number 13888.
    3. Pereira, Luiz C. Bresser, 2011. "Structuralist macroeconomics and new developmentalism," Textos para discussão 298, FGV/EESP - Escola de Economia de São Paulo, Getulio Vargas Foundation (Brazil).
    4. Hausman,Daniel M., 1992. "The Inexact and Separate Science of Economics," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521415019, April.
    5. Bresser Pereira,Luiz Carlos, 2010. "Globalization and Competition," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521196352, March.
    6. Hausman,Daniel M., 1992. "The Inexact and Separate Science of Economics," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521425230, April.
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