IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this article

Retroduction as mixed-methods triangulation in economic research: reorienting economics into social science


  • Paul Downward
  • Andrew Mearman


This paper argues that mixed-methods triangulation can be understood as the manifestation of retroduction, the logic of inference espoused by critical realism. As such, it can provide the basis upon which different insights upon the same phenomenon can be sensibly combined and thus has the potential to unite aspects of different traditions of economic and social thought. In this regard, the paper supports Lawson's view that the exclusive insistence on mathematical and statistical modelling in economics is misguided. The paper explores how disciplinary boundaries may be broken down and interdisciplinary social science, of which economics can be a part, established. Copyright 2007, Oxford University Press.

Suggested Citation

  • Paul Downward & Andrew Mearman, 2007. "Retroduction as mixed-methods triangulation in economic research: reorienting economics into social science," Cambridge Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 31(1), pages 77-99, January.
  • Handle: RePEc:oup:cambje:v:31:y:2007:i:1:p:77-99

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: Access to full text is restricted to subscribers.

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to search for a different version of it.


    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.

    Cited by:

    1. Jackson, Emerson Abraham, 2018. "Theoretical and Methodological Context of (Post)-Modern Econometrics and Competing Philosophical Discourses for Policy Prescription," MPRA Paper 86796, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 19 May 2018.
    2. repec:eee:respol:v:47:y:2018:i:1:p:70-87 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Robert Garnett & Andrew Mearman, 2011. "Contending Perspectives, Twenty Years On: What Have Our Students Learned?," Working Papers 201104, Texas Christian University, Department of Economics.
    4. Steinmo, Marianne & Rasmussen, Einar, 2016. "How firms collaborate with public research organizations: The evolution of proximity dimensions in successful innovation projects," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 69(3), pages 1250-1259.
    5. Annie Tubadji & Vassilis Angelis & Peter Nijkamp, 2016. "Endogenous intangible resources and their place in the institutional hierarchy," Review of Regional Research: Jahrbuch für Regionalwissenschaft, Springer;Gesellschaft für Regionalforschung (GfR), vol. 36(1), pages 1-28, February.
    6. repec:eee:riibaf:v:42:y:2017:i:c:p:900-911 is not listed on IDEAS
    7. Martha A. Starr, 2014. "Qualitative And Mixed-Methods Research In Economics: Surprising Growth, Promising Future," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 28(2), pages 238-264, April.
    8. repec:eee:respol:v:47:y:2018:i:10:p:1964-1974 is not listed on IDEAS
    9. repec:pal:eurjdr:v:31:y:2019:i:2:d:10.1057_s41287-019-00201-x is not listed on IDEAS
    10. Chassagnon, Virgile & Dubrion, Benjamin, 2015. "Responsabilité sociale de l’entreprise et manipulation des salariés au travail : un éclairage institutionnaliste à partir d’une analyse de la littérature sur les codes de conduite," Revue de la Régulation - Capitalisme, institutions, pouvoirs, Association Recherche et Régulation, vol. 17.
    11. Mearman, Andrew, 2014. "How should economics curricula be evaluated?," International Review of Economics Education, Elsevier, vol. 16(PB), pages 73-86.
    12. repec:oup:indcch:v:27:y:2018:i:6:p:943-956. is not listed on IDEAS
    13. Carugi, Carlo, 2016. "Experiences with systematic triangulation at the Global Environment Facility," Evaluation and Program Planning, Elsevier, vol. 55(C), pages 55-66.
    14. repec:oup:cambje:v:42:y:2018:i:5:p:1315-1341. is not listed on IDEAS
    15. 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.
    16. Barbara Weißenberger & Benjamin Löhr, 2008. "Planung und Unternehmenserfolg: Stylized Facts aus der empirischen Controllingforschung im deutschsprachigen Raum von 1990–2007," Metrika: International Journal for Theoretical and Applied Statistics, Springer, vol. 18(4), pages 335-363, February.
    17. Annie Tubadji & Vassilis Angelis & Peter Nijkamp, 2014. "Local culture and resistance to shocks in economic forecasts: a case study of Greece," Economics and Business Letters, Oviedo University Press, vol. 3(4), pages 298-308.
    18. repec:kap:jtecht:v:44:y:2019:i:4:d:10.1007_s10961-017-9644-2 is not listed on IDEAS
    19. Paul Downward & Andrew Mearman, 2008. "Decision-making at the Bank of England: a critical appraisal," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 60(3), pages 385-409, July.
    20. Wouter Beekman & Gert Jan Veldwisch, 2016. "Supporting Farmer-Led Irrigation in Mozambique: Reflections on Field-Testing a New Design Approach," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 8(6), pages 1-16, June.
    21. Andrew Mearman, 2012. "Pluralist economics curricula: do they work; and how would we know?," Working Papers 20121203, Department of Accounting, Economics and Finance, Bristol Business School, University of the West of England, Bristol.
    22. Andrew Mearman & Tim Wakeley & Gamila Shoib & Don J. Webber, 2011. "Does Pluralism in Economics Education Make Better Educated, Happier Students? A Qualitative Analysis," International Review of Economic Education, Economics Network, University of Bristol, vol. 10(2), pages 50-62.
    23. Tubadji, Annie & Nijkamp, Peter & Santarelli, Enrico, 2017. "Shacklean Uncertainty and Cultural Embeddedness as Innovation Constraints in the UK," GLO Discussion Paper Series 111, Global Labor Organization (GLO).
    24. Kimmich, Christian, 2013. "Linking action situations: Coordination, conflicts, and evolution in electricity provision for irrigation in Andhra Pradesh, India," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 90(C), pages 150-158.
    25. Andrew Mearman, 2008. "Pluralism and Heterodoxy: Introduction to the Special Issue," The Journal of Philosophical Economics, Bucharest Academy of Economic Studies, The Journal of Philosophical Economics, vol. 1(2), pages 5-25, March.

    More about this item


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:oup:cambje:v:31:y:2007:i:1:p:77-99. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Oxford University Press) The email address of this maintainer does not seem to be valid anymore. Please ask Oxford University Press to update the entry or send us the correct email address or (Christopher F. Baum). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    We have no references for this item. You can help adding them by using this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.