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Critical Realism and the Political Economy of the Euro

  • Philip Arestis
  • Andrew Brown
  • Malcolm Sawyer

This paper is concerned with two issues. First, it discusses some of the main problems and inferences the methodological approach of critical realism raises for empirical work in economics, while considering an approach adopted to try to overcome these problems. Second, it provides a concrete illustration of these arguments, with reference to our recent research project analyzing the single European currency. It is argued that critical realism provides a method that is partially appropriate to concrete levels of analysis, as illustrated by the attempt to explain the falling value of the euro. It is concluded that the critical realist method is inappropriate to the most abstract and fundamental levels of theory.

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File URL: http://www.levyinstitute.org/pubs/wp352.pdf
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Paper provided by Levy Economics Institute in its series Economics Working Paper Archive with number wp_352.

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Date of creation: Sep 2002
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Handle: RePEc:lev:wrkpap:wp_352
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.levyinstitute.org

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  1. ., 1998. "Labour," Chapters, in: The Elgar Companion to Classical Economics, chapter 88 Edward Elgar.
  2. Andrew Brown & Gary Slater & David A. Spencer, 2002. "Driven to abstraction? Critical realism and the search for the 'inner connection' of social phenomena," Cambridge Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 26(6), pages 773-788, November.
  3. ., 1998. "Monetarism," Chapters, in: The Handbook of Economic Methodology, chapter 75 Edward Elgar.
  4. Roy J. Rotheim, 1999. "Post Keynesian Economics and Realist Philosophy," Journal of Post Keynesian Economics, M.E. Sharpe, Inc., vol. 22(1), pages 71-103, October.
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