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Searching where the Light Is: Connecting Theory and Policy in Economics

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  • David Colander

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Abstract

In this paper I discuss economist’s tendency to do abstract theory, and suggest an alternative way of relating theory and policy that I provides a much more positive spin on mainstream economists’ tendency toward abstract theorizing than that given it by most heterodox economists. The gist of the argument is that we should think of economic theory not as a precise map, but as a general pattern generator, which is useful to keep in the back of our minds and we approach policy problems.

Suggested Citation

  • David Colander, 2005. "Searching where the Light Is: Connecting Theory and Policy in Economics," Middlebury College Working Paper Series 0529, Middlebury College, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:mdl:mdlpap:0529
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    File URL: http://www.middlebury.edu/services/econ/repec/mdl/ancoec/0529.pdf
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    1. David Colander, 2005. "The future of economics: the appropriately educated in pursuit of the knowable," Cambridge Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 29(6), pages 927-941, November.
    2. Colander, David, 1993. "The Lost Art of Economics: Response," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 7(3), pages 213-215, Summer.
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