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Critical Realism and the Political Economy of the Euro


  • Philip Arestis

    (Levy Institute)

  • Andrew Brown

    (University of Leeds)

  • Malcolm Sawyer

    (University of Leeds)


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.

Suggested Citation

  • Philip Arestis & Andrew Brown & Malcolm Sawyer, 2002. "Critical Realism and the Political Economy of the Euro," Method and Hist of Econ Thought 0209001, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  • Handle: RePEc:wpa:wuwpmh:0209001
    Note: Type of Document - Microsoft Word; prepared on IBM PC; to print on HP/Postscript; pages: 17; figures: included

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Roy J. Rotheim, 1999. "Post Keynesian Economics and Realist Philosophy," Journal of Post Keynesian Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 22(1), pages 71-103, September.
    2. ., 1998. "Labour," Chapters,in: The Elgar Companion to Classical Economics, chapter 88 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    3. ., 1998. "Monetarism," Chapters,in: The Handbook of Economic Methodology, chapter 75 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    4. 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.
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    More about this item


    critical realism single European currency Euro;

    JEL classification:

    • F0 - International Economics - - General
    • F11 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Neoclassical Models of Trade


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