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The Genesis of 'Positive Economics' and the Rejection of Monopolistic Competition Theory: A Methodological Debate


  • Keppler, Jan Horst


In 'The Methodology of Positive Economics' (1953), Milton Friedman linked the adoption of a falsificationist methodology to the rejection of monopolistic competition as a valid assumption, thus elaborating a point made earlier by George Stigler in 'Monopolistic Competition in Retrospect' (1949). Both failed to demonstrate that the alternative assumption of perfect competition would perform better under falsificationist rules. These rules themselves are an expression of the ambition to establish an economic science rather than a convincing framework for research. Monopolistic competition theory became the main target of attack, as it highlighted the problematic nature of empirical research interested in perfectly generalizable results. Copyright 1998 by Oxford University Press.

Suggested Citation

  • Keppler, Jan Horst, 1998. "The Genesis of 'Positive Economics' and the Rejection of Monopolistic Competition Theory: A Methodological Debate," Cambridge Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 22(3), pages 261-276, May.
  • Handle: RePEc:oup:cambje:v:22:y:1998:i:3:p:261-76

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    Cited by:

    1. Signorino, Rodolfo, 2012. "Edward H. Chamberlin (1899 − 1967)," MPRA Paper 39213, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    2. Keppler, Jan Horst, 2009. "Barriers to entry : abolishing the barriers to understanding," MPRA Paper 44242, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 2009.

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