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Why Economists Disregard Economic Methodology


  • Bruno S. Frey


This paper advances two propositions, one concerning content, the other concerning research strategy. (1) The advent of wide-spread internet publishing reduces the stifling impact of the refereeing process on the papers accepted and submitted to journals. Economics scholars are less bound to devoting a large part of their time and effort on formalisms. They have more leeway to concentrate on matters of content. This greater freedom also improves the chances of the advice and suggestions proposed by economic methodologists being put into practice. (2) Economic methodology is only able to influence the practice of economics if it takes into account the incentives to which scholars are subjected when they want to pursue an academic career and become prominent. Incentives are transmitted by institutions; it is therefore necessary for economic methodology to analyse how institutions work and how they may change in the future. An attempt has been made here to look at the publication process in economics, and the impact the internet might have on the incentives to write and to do research.

Suggested Citation

  • Bruno S. Frey, "undated". "Why Economists Disregard Economic Methodology," IEW - Working Papers 058, Institute for Empirical Research in Economics - University of Zurich.
  • Handle: RePEc:zur:iewwpx:058

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Glenn Ellison, 2002. "The Slowdown of the Economics Publishing Process," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 110(5), pages 947-993, October.
    2. Glenn Ellison, 2002. "Evolving Standards for Academic Publishing: A q-r Theory," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 110(5), pages 994-1034, October.
    3. Shaun P. Hargreaves Heap, 2001. "Methodology now!," Journal of Economic Methodology, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 7(1), pages 95-108.
    4. Thomas Mayer, 1992. "Truth versus precision in economics," Books, Edward Elgar Publishing, number 307.
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    More about this item


    economic methodology; economists; publishing; internet; institutions;

    JEL classification:

    • A11 - General Economics and Teaching - - General Economics - - - Role of Economics; Role of Economists
    • B4 - Schools of Economic Thought and Methodology - - Economic Methodology

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