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Plurality in economics


  • Sheila Dow

    (Department of Economics, University of Stirling, Scotland)


There is evidence of growing plurality in economic theory, alongside an increasing degree of homogenisation at the level of methodology. The purpose of this paper is to explore these developments in the light of the methodological literature on pluralism, regarding meaning of plurality, and the arguments for it. Issues raised by plurality are then explored: regarding mathematical formalism, the ‘anything goes’ approach, and the rationale for schools of thought. It is concluded that, if plurality is not to take the form of ‘anything goes’, then critical discussion by economists of different approaches to economics, and of pluralism itself, is required.

Suggested Citation

  • Sheila Dow, 2006. "Plurality in economics," SCEME Working Papers: Advances in Economic Methodology 011/2006, SCEME.
  • Handle: RePEc:sti:wpaper:011/2006

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    Blog mentions

    As found by, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
    1. A New Economics Association
      by (Martin de Wit) in Sustainable Options on 2011-07-14 12:00:00

    More about this item


    pluralism; heterodox-economics;

    JEL classification:

    • B4 - Schools of Economic Thought and Methodology - - Economic Methodology
    • B5 - Schools of Economic Thought and Methodology - - Current Heterodox Approaches


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