Economic History: What Are the Contributions of Historical Example to Understanding of Economic Phenomena?
What are the contributions of historical example to understanding of economic phenomena? Economists widely adopt methods of natural sciences. But economics is a social science and the observed economic phenomena are qualitatively different from phenomena observed by natural sciences. Thus the use of natural sciences methods makes implications of economic theoretical models unrealistic. In this paper, I argue that the evidence of historical example is a good method to illuminate the implications of economic theoretical models, because if implications of economic theoretical models are illustrated in historical perspective, they can be more easily verified by common sense thus particular historical circumstances may be partly revealed. Moreover, historical examples also serve to demonstrate the qualitative content of casual economic relations based on human historical experience, which is ignored by natural science methods. The historical example is thus not only more realistic but it better corresponds with the social nature of economic science.
Volume (Year): 2012 (2012)
Issue (Month): 5 ()
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