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Os dois métodos da teoria econômica

  • Pereira, Luiz C. Bresser (Luiz Carlos Bresser)

Economic theory deals with a complex reality, which may be seen through various perspectives, using different methods. Economics’ three major branches – development economics, macroeconomics, and microeconomics – cannot be unified because the former two use preferentially a historical-deductive, while the later, an essentially hypothetical-deductive or aprioristic method. Smith, Marx and Keynes used an essentially the method of the new historical facts, while Walras, an aprioristic one to devise the neoclassical general equilibrium model. The historical-deductive method looks for the new historical facts that condition the economic reality. Economic theory remains central, but it is more modest, or less general, as the economist that adopt principally this method is content to analyze stabilization and growth in the framework of a given historical phase or moment of the economic process. As a trade off, his models are more realistic and conducive to more effective economic policies, as long as he is not required to previously abandon, one by one, the unrealistic assumptions required by a excessively general theory, but already starts from more realistic ones

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Paper provided by Escola de Economia de São Paulo, Getulio Vargas Foundation (Brazil) in its series Textos para discussão with number 127.

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Date of creation: 01 Jul 2003
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:fgv:eesptd:127
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