The New Palgrave Dictionary of Economics

2018 Edition
| Editors: Macmillan Publishers Ltd

Methodology of Economics

  • Roger E. Backhouse
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1057/978-1-349-95189-5_2175

Abstract

The methodology of economics concerns the principles underlying economic argumentation. Though systematic reflections on the subject go back at least to the 19th century, the methodology of economics emerged as a recognizable field, at the boundaries of economics, philosophy and science studies, only in the 1980s. This article outlines the way the field developed and its current position.

Keywords

Assumptions controversy Behavioural economics Cairnes, J.E. Causality Conventionalism Data mining Economics, definition of Experimental economics Explanation Falsificationism Friedman, M. German Historical School Heterodox economics History of economic thought Ideology Individualism versus holism Instrumentalism Jevons, W.S. Keynes, J.N. Koopmans, T.C. Kuhn, T. Lakatos, I. Leslie, T.E.C. Measurement theory Menger, C. Mill, J. S. Models Operationalism Paradigms Philosophy and economics Pluralism in economics Popper, K. Positive economics Positivism Postmodernism Robbins, L.C. Stylized facts Theory appraisal 

JEL Classifications

B4 
This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.

Bibliography

  1. Backhouse, R.E. 1997. The methodology of economics: Nineteenth-century British contributions, 6 vols. London and Bristol: Routledge & Thoemmes Press.Google Scholar
  2. Backhouse, R.E., and S.G. Medema. 2007. Defining economics: Robbins’s essay in theory and practice. Working paper. http://ssrn.com/abstract=969994. Accessed 19 May 2007.
  3. Blaug, M. 1980. The methodology of economics: How economists explain, 2nd ed. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1992.Google Scholar
  4. Cairnes, J.E. 1857. The character and logical method of political economy. London: Macmillan, 1888.Google Scholar
  5. Caldwell, B.J. 1982. Beyond positivism: Economic methodology in the twentieth century. London: Allen & Unwin.Google Scholar
  6. Caldwell, B.J. 1993. The philosophy and methodology of economics, 3 vols. Cheltenham: Edward Elgar.Google Scholar
  7. Friedman, M. 1953. The methodology of positive economics. In Essays in positive economics, ed. M. Friedman. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.Google Scholar
  8. Goldfarb, R. 1997. Now you see it, now you don’t: Emerging contrary results in economics. Journal of Economic Methodology 4: 221–244.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Hands, D.W. 2001. Reflection without rules: Economic methodology and contemporary science theory. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Hausman, D.M. 1992. The inexact and separate science of economics. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Hausman, D.M. 1994. The philosophy of economics: An anthology. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  12. Hoover, K.D. 2001a. The methodology of empirical macroeconomics. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Hoover, K.D. 2001b. Causality in economics. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  14. Hutchison, T.W. 1938. The significance and basic postulates of economic theory. London: Macmillan.Google Scholar
  15. Jevons, W.S. 1873. The principles of science: A treatise on logic and scientific method, 2nd edn. London: Macmillan, 1877.Google Scholar
  16. Jevons, W.S. 1871. The theory of political economy, 2nd edn. London: Macmillan, 1879.Google Scholar
  17. Keynes, J.N. 1890. The scope and method of political economy. London: Macmillan, 1917.Google Scholar
  18. Koopmans, T.C. 1957. Three essays on the state of economic science. New York: McGraw Hill.Google Scholar
  19. Latsis, S.J. 1976. Method and appraisal in economics. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Leslie, T.E.C. 1879. Essays on political and moral philosophy. Dublin: Hodges, Foster & Figgis.Google Scholar
  21. Menger, C. 1883. Investigations into the method of the social sciences with special reference to economics. Trans. F.J. Nock. New York: New York University Press, 1985.Google Scholar
  22. Mill, J.S. 1843. A system of logic. The collected works of John Stuart Mill, vols 7–8, ed. J.M. Robson. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1974.Google Scholar
  23. Mill, J.S. 1844. Essays on some unsettled questions of political economy. In The collected works of John Stuart Mill, vol. 4, ed. J.M. Robson. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1967.Google Scholar
  24. Reder, M.W. 1999. Economics: The culture of a controversial science. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.Google Scholar
  25. Robbins, L.C. 1932. An essay on the nature and significance of economic science. London: Macmillan, 1935.Google Scholar
  26. Smyth, R.L. 1962. Essays in economic method: Selected papers read to Section F of the British Association for the advancement of science, 1860–1913. London: Duckworth.Google Scholar
  27. Stewart, I. 1979. Reasoning and method in economics. New York: McGraw Hill.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Macmillan Publishers Ltd. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Roger E. Backhouse
    • 1
  1. 1.