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Assessing Causal Economic Explanations


  • Runde, Jochen


Recent years have witnessed a growing interest in causal realism in the methodology of economics. Some of this literature reflects a strong skepticism about the existence of sharp event-regularities or 'laws' in the economic realm and, accordingly, about the prospects for the covering-law approach to explanation that dominates modern economic theory. This paper outlines an alternative, causal, approach to economic explanation and attempts to answer an important question often asked about it: how should causal economic explanations be assessed? Copyright 1998 by Royal Economic Society.

Suggested Citation

  • Runde, Jochen, 1998. "Assessing Causal Economic Explanations," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 50(2), pages 151-172, April.
  • Handle: RePEc:oup:oxecpp:v:50:y:1998:i:2:p:151-72

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Jordi Galí & Roberto Perotti, 2003. "Fiscal policy and monetary integration in Europe," Economic Policy, CEPR;CES;MSH, vol. 18(37), pages 533-572, October.
    2. Marco Buti & Paul Noord, 2004. "Fiscal Discretion and Elections in the Early Years of EMU," Journal of Common Market Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 42(4), pages 737-756, November.
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    4. Pina, Álvaro M. & Venes, Nuno M., 2011. "The political economy of EDP fiscal forecasts: An empirical assessment," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 27(3), pages 534-546, September.
    5. Carlo A. Favero, "undated". "How do European monetary and fiscal authorities behave?," Working Papers 214, IGIER (Innocenzo Gasparini Institute for Economic Research), Bocconi University.
    6. Xavier Debrun & Laurent Moulin & Alessandro Turrini & Joaquim Ayuso-i-Casals & Manmohan S. Kumar, 2008. "Tied to the mast? National fiscal rules in the European Union," Economic Policy, CEPR;CES;MSH, vol. 23, pages 297-362, April.
    7. Fabrizio BALASSONE & Maura FRANCESE, "undated". "Cyclical Asymmetry in Fiscal Policy, Debt Accumulation and the Treaty of Maastricht," EcoMod2004 330600014, EcoMod.
    8. Lars Jonung & Martin Larch, 2006. "Improving fiscal policy in the EU: the case for independent forecasts," Economic Policy, CEPR;CES;MSH, vol. 21(47), pages 491-534, July.
    9. Forni, Lorenzo & Momigliano, Sandro, 2004. "Cyclical sensitivity of fiscal policies based on real-time data," MPRA Paper 4315, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    10. Giuliodori, Massimo & Beetsma, Roel, 2008. "On the relationship between fiscal plans in the European Union: An empirical analysis based on real-time data," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 36(2), pages 221-242, June.
    11. Xavier Debrun & Manmohan S. Kumar, 2007. "The Discipline-Enhancing Role of Fiscal Institutions; Theory and Empirical Evidence," IMF Working Papers 07/171, International Monetary Fund.
    12. Tilman Brück & Andreas Stephan, 2006. "Do Eurozone Countries Cheat with their Budget Deficit Forecasts?," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 59(1), pages 3-15, February.
    13. Roberto Golinelli & Sandro Momigliano, 2008. "The cyclical response of fiscal policies in the euro area. Why do results of empirical research differ so strongly?," Temi di discussione (Economic working papers) 654, Bank of Italy, Economic Research and International Relations Area.
    14. Lane, Philip R., 2003. "The cyclical behaviour of fiscal policy: evidence from the OECD," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 87(12), pages 2661-2675, December.
    15. Golinelli, Roberto & Momigliano, Sandro, 2006. "Real-time determinants of fiscal policies in the euro area," Journal of Policy Modeling, Elsevier, vol. 28(9), pages 943-964, December.
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    Cited by:

    1. G. Hodgson., 2006. "Some Claims Made for Critical Realism in Economics: Two Case Studies," VOPROSY ECONOMIKI, N.P. Redaktsiya zhurnala "Voprosy Economiki", vol. 7.
    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. Jochen Runde, 2001. "On Stephen Parsons' Philosophical Critique of Transcendental Realism," Review of Political Economy, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 13(1), pages 101-114.
    4. Hearnshaw, Edward J.S. & Cullen, Ross & Hughey, Kenneth F.D., 2006. "An Emergent Economics of Ecosystem Management," 2006 Conference, August 24-25, 2006, Nelson, New Zealand 31957, New Zealand Agricultural and Resource Economics Society.
    5. Gregor Zwirn, 2009. "Ludwig von Mises on the epistemological foundation for social sciences reconstructed," The Review of Austrian Economics, Springer;Society for the Development of Austrian Economics, vol. 22(1), pages 81-107, March.
    6. Lewis, Paul & Runde, Jochen, 2007. "Subjectivism, social structure and the possibility of socio-economic order: The case of Ludwig Lachmann," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 62(2), pages 167-186, February.
    7. Lee, Frederic, 2011. "The making of heterodox microeconomics," MPRA Paper 30907, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    8. Paul Jackson & Jochen Runde & Philip Dobson & Nancy Richter, 2016. "Identifying mechanisms influencing the emergence and success of innovation within national economies: a realist approach," Policy Sciences, Springer;Society of Policy Sciences, vol. 49(3), pages 233-256, September.
    9. Paul Lewis, 2005. "Boettke, The Austrian School and the Reclamation of Reality in Modern Economics," The Review of Austrian Economics, Springer;Society for the Development of Austrian Economics, vol. 18(1), pages 83-108, January.

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