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A defence of absurd theories in economics

Author

Listed:
  • Ole Røgeberg
  • Morten Nordberg

Abstract

Theories that involve plainly false and even bizarre assumptions could have an important role in bundling empirical facts and allowing these to be understood, handled and used as modules in the construction of mechanisms by economists with human cognitive limits. Absurd theories would be subcomponents used in a valid explanatory strategy as long as the mechanisms only derive the implications of the facts summarised. This provides a defence and explanation of parts of current practise, but also imposes hard limits on such theorising.

Suggested Citation

  • Ole Røgeberg & Morten Nordberg, 2005. "A defence of absurd theories in economics," Journal of Economic Methodology, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 12(4), pages 543-562.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:jecmet:v:12:y:2005:i:4:p:543-562
    DOI: 10.1080/13501780500343631
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    as-if theory; economic methodology; welfare economics;

    JEL classification:

    • B41 - Schools of Economic Thought and Methodology - - Economic Methodology - - - Economic Methodology
    • D00 - Microeconomics - - General - - - General

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