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A revision of the neoclassical economics methodology

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  • Geert Reuten

Abstract

The practice of neoclassical economics is characterized as an 'axiomatic positivism', which is far removed from the official (Popper-Lakatos) methodology of neoclassicism. Hausman (1992) attempts to provide a full revision of that official methodology, for which he takes recourse to the methodological work of J.S. Mill. Hausman's methodology is problematical because of: (1) an inadequate distinction between a normative and a descriptive methodology; (2) an insufficient consideration of the empirical stages of theory appraisal; (3) a misleading account of the tendential character of economic generalizations, as revealed by his treatment of them as ceteris paribus formulations. Further, an arbitrary part of the theory assessment in Hausman's approach seems to run in praxeological terms, apparently divorced from the methodological appraisal.

Suggested Citation

  • Geert Reuten, 1996. "A revision of the neoclassical economics methodology," Journal of Economic Methodology, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 3(1), pages 39-68.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:jecmet:v:3:y:1996:i:1:p:39-68
    DOI: 10.1080/13501789600000002
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