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The Influence Of Friedman'S Methodological Essay

  • Thomas Mayer

    (Department of Economics, University of California Davis)

Many leading methodologists have described the central role that Milton Friedman''s 1953 essay (henceforth referred to as F53) has played in methodological discussions. (See for instance Daniel Hammond, 1998; Kevin Hoover; 2001; Roger Backhouse 2002.) However, it does not necessarily follow that it has had a great influence on the practice of economics, because practicing economists pay little attention to free-standing discussions of methodology; at best they learn their methodology by seeing it put to work on substantive problems.1 Arguably, Friedman and Schwartz''s (1963) A Monetary History of the United States, has had more influence on the methodology of practicing economist than did F53. The most pervasive methodological influence in macroeconomics in the last thirty years has been the insistence of new classical economists on reducing macroeconomics to microeconomics, and in this they paid no attention to philosophical debates about reductionism

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Paper provided by University of California, Davis, Department of Economics in its series Working Papers with number 41.

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Length: 44
Date of creation: 05 Feb 2004
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:cda:wpaper:04-1
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  1. Colander, David, 1993. "The Lost Art of Economics: Response," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 7(3), pages 213-15, Summer.
  2. Bryan Boulier & Robert Goldfarb, 1998. "On the use and nonuse of surveys in economics," Journal of Economic Methodology, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 5(1), pages 1-21.
  3. Allais, Maurice, 1997. "An Outline of My Main Contributions to Economic Science," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 87(6), pages 3-12, December.
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