Mäki on Economics Imperialism
This paper reviews Uskali Mäki’s epistemic analysis of economics imperialism formulated in terms of the science unification ideal and the three constraints on imperialism he develops. It then examines the phenomenon of "reverse imperialism" associated with the influence of other fields on economics especially since 1980, and advances a core-periphery model of the identity of economics as a field made up of a collection of different research programs. The discussion returns to Mäki’s constraints framework to re-evaluate the "economics" imperialism of individual research programs, and evaluates what we learn from Mäki’s three constraints. The paper concludes with a brief comment on the deductive top-down nature of Mäki’s epistemic model, and outlines a more historical approach to the subject of disciplinary imperialism that provides an alternative concept of constraints on research program extensions in terms of the idea of "resistances and accommodations."
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