Has populism reached economics? Two criteria for assessing normative empirical concepts in economics
This paper attempts to understand why we generally feel that some normative empirical concepts in economics are unproblematic whereas others feel uncomfortable or misleading. I develop criteria to distinguish between the two on the basis of two notions from the philosophy of science: positional objectivity and thick concepts. I operationalize these with the help of two recent guidelines on good scientific practice that have been developed in debates around scientific integrity. This leads to two criteria: unavoidability and global evaluation. Following this discussion, the paper will present a case study on "ethnic fractionalization", popular in empirical research on the social determinants of economic growth. Throughout the paper I will make use of examples of other normative empirical concepts to further the understanding of the various ways in which such concepts violate the criteria that I have suggested.
|Date of creation:||02 May 2017|
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- William Easterly & Ross Levine, 1997.
"Africa's Growth Tragedy: Policies and Ethnic Divisions,"
The Quarterly Journal of Economics,
Oxford University Press, vol. 112(4), pages 1203-1250.
- Easterly, W & Levine, R, 1996. "Africa's Growth Tragedy : Policies and Ethnic Divisions," Papers 536, Harvard - Institute for International Development.
- Irene van Staveren, 2012. "An Evolutionary Efficiency Alternative to the Notion of Pareto Efficiency," Economic Thought, World Economics Association, vol. 1(1), pages 1-6, July.
- A. B. Atkinson, 2009. "Economics as a Moral Science," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 76(s1), pages 791-804, October.
- repec:wea:econth:v:1:y:2012:i:1:p:7 is not listed on IDEAS
- Martin Rode & Julio Revuelta, 2015. "The Wild Bunch! An empirical note on populism and economic institutions," Economics of Governance, Springer, vol. 16(1), pages 73-96, February.
- Irene van Staveren & Zahid Pervaiz, 2017. "Is it Ethnic Fractionalization or Social Exclusion, Which Affects Social Cohesion?," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 130(2), pages 711-731, January. Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)
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