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The Rhetoric of Policy Relevance in International Economics

  • William Milberg

    (The Jerome Levy Economics Institute)

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    There is a widespread belief that economic policy prescriptions, especially in international economics, are of grave importance for individual and national well being. Milberg contends, however, that there is little thought given to how such prescriptions follow from the theoretical models used to generate these conclusions. In fact, different models appear to be used: A formal theoretical model and a less formal one to reach policy conclusions. In this working paper, Milberg seeks to find out why this dichotomy occurred by analyzing the rhetoric contained in casual models, that is, those used to arrive at policy conclusions. He asserts that this rhetoric was not an accidental methodological discrepancy, but a necessary strategy for reaching policy conclusions.

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    File URL: http://econwpa.repec.org/eps/mac/papers/9904/9904009.pdf
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    Paper provided by EconWPA in its series Macroeconomics with number 9904009.

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    Length: 38 pages
    Date of creation: 15 Apr 1999
    Date of revision:
    Handle: RePEc:wpa:wuwpma:9904009
    Note: Type of Document - Acrobat PDF; prepared on IBM PC; to print on PostScript; pages: 38; figures: included
    Contact details of provider: Web page: http://econwpa.repec.org

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    17. Kiminori Matsuyama, 1987. "Perfect Equilibria in a Trade Liberalization Game," Discussion Papers 738, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
    18. Mäki, Uskali, 1988. "How to Combine Rhetoric and Realism in the Methodology of Economics," Economics and Philosophy, Cambridge University Press, vol. 4(01), pages 89-109, April.
    19. Gardner, Grant W. & Kimbrough, Kent P., 1989. "Tariffs, interest rates, and the trade balance in the world economy," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 27(1-2), pages 91-110, August.
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