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Abstraction, Tendencies and Stylised Facts: A Realist Approach to Economic Analysis

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  • Lawson, Tony

Abstract

In his numerous methodological asides and assertions that feature in his more empirically-oriented, postwar contributions, Nicholas Kaldor makes frequent reference to notions of abstraction, tendencies, and stylized facts. However, the employment of such terms seems rarely to be explicitly questioned, justified, or explicated. This paper argues that such notions can be readily explicated and their employment justified through adopting an explicitly realist approach to economic analysis. It is also argued that realism represents a serious alternative to current orthodox approaches to economics without suffering from some of the latter's more obvious limitations. Copyright 1989 by Oxford University Press.

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  • Lawson, Tony, 1989. "Abstraction, Tendencies and Stylised Facts: A Realist Approach to Economic Analysis," Cambridge Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 13(1), pages 59-78, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:oup:cambje:v:13:y:1989:i:1:p:59-78
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    Cited by:

    1. Paul Lewis, 2011. "Far from a nihilistic crowd: The theoretical contribution of radical subjectivist Austrian economics," The Review of Austrian Economics, Springer;Society for the Development of Austrian Economics, vol. 24(2), pages 185-198, June.
    2. Bernard Walters & David Young, 2001. "Critical Realism as a Basis for Economic Methodology: A critique," Review of Political Economy, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 13(4), pages 483-501.
    3. Boyer, Robert, 1992. "La crise de la macroéconomie, une conséquence de la méconnaissance des institutions?," L'Actualité Economique, Société Canadienne de Science Economique, vol. 68(1), pages 43-68, mars et j.
    4. Michalis Nikiforos, 2016. "Distribution-led Growth through Methodological Lenses," Economics Working Paper Archive wp_879, Levy Economics Institute.
    5. Dr Paul Downward, "undated". "Realism and Inference in Economics: A Note," Working Papers 98-7, Staffordshire University, Business School.
    6. Midmore, Peter & Whittaker, Julie, 2000. "Economics for sustainable rural systems," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 35(2), pages 173-189, November.
    7. Lee, Frederic, 2011. "The making of heterodox microeconomics," MPRA Paper 30907, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    8. Lukáš Kovanda, 2010. "Kritický realismus: ontologická báze postkeynesovské ekonomie
      [Critical Realism as an Ontological Basis of Post-Keynesianism]
      ," Politická ekonomie, University of Economics, Prague, vol. 2010(5), pages 608-622.
    9. Bernd-O. Heine & Matthias Meyer & Oliver Strangfeld, 2005. "Stylised Facts and the Contribution of Simulation to the Economic Analysis of Budgeting," Journal of Artificial Societies and Social Simulation, Journal of Artificial Societies and Social Simulation, vol. 8(4), pages 1-4.
    10. Andrew Mearman, 2006. "Critical realism in economics and open-systems ontology: A critique," Review of Social Economy, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 64(1), pages 47-75.
    11. Lee, Frederic, 2012. "Critical realism, grounded theory, and theory construction in heterodox economics," MPRA Paper 40341, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    12. Fulvio Castellacci, 2006. "A critical realist interpretation of evolutionary growth theorising," Cambridge Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 30(6), pages 861-880, November.
    13. Foster, John, 1995. "The impact of the self organisation approach on economic science: why economic theory and history need no longer be mutually exclusive domains," Mathematics and Computers in Simulation (MATCOM), Elsevier, vol. 39(3), pages 393-398.
    14. Clive L Spash & Heinz Schandl, 2009. "Growth, the Environment and Keynes: Reflections on Two Heterodox Schools of Thought," Socio-Economics and the Environment in Discussion (SEED) Working Paper Series 2009-01, CSIRO Sustainable Ecosystems.
    15. Yalcintas, Altug, 2013. "The Oomph in economic philosophy: a bibliometric analysis of the main trends, from the 1960s to the present," MPRA Paper 44191, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    16. Thomas Brenner & Christian Cordes, 2004. "The autocatalytic character of the growth of production knowledge: What role does human labor play?," Papers on Economics and Evolution 2004-12, Philipps University Marburg, Department of Geography.
    17. Patel, Pankaj C. & Fiet, James O., 2010. "Enhancing the internal validity of entrepreneurship experiments by assessing treatment effects at multiple levels across multiple trials," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 76(1), pages 127-140, October.
    18. Lavoie, Marc, 1992. "Éléments d’analyse d’une synthèse post-classique," L'Actualité Economique, Société Canadienne de Science Economique, vol. 68(4), pages 607-631, décembre.
    19. Hodgson, Geoffrey M., 1997. "Economics and the return to Mecca: The recognition of novelty and emergence," Structural Change and Economic Dynamics, Elsevier, vol. 8(4), pages 399-412, October.

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