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Encyclopedia > Economic methodology

Economic methodology is the study of scientific method in relation to economics. The term 'methodology' is also commonly, though incorrectly, used as an impressive synonym for 'method' or technique. Scientific method is a body of techniques for investigating phenomena and acquiring new knowledge, as well as for correcting and integrating previous knowledge. ... Face-to-face trading interactions on the New York Stock Exchange trading floor. ...


Many of the general issues that arise in the methodology of the natural sciences are also applicable in economics. However, a number of particular issues have arisen, reflecting the nature of economics as a social science, the limited scope for experimental work and the prominent role of deductive and axiomatic methods in economics. This article or section may contain original research or unverified claims. ... Experimental economics is the use of experimental methods to evaluate theoretical predictions of economic behaviour. ...


Important methodological issues in economics have included: methodological individualism; the relation of science to economics, discussed by John Stuart Mill, John Neville Keynes and Lionel Robbins; the role of simplifying assumptions, debated at length by Milton Friedman and Paul Samuelson among others; the role of a priori deduction, discussed by Ludwig von Mises; and the uses of the axiomatic method and formalization as represented in the work of Kenneth Arrow, John R. Hicks, and Amartya Sen. Methodological individualism is a philosophical orientation toward explaining broad society-wide developments as the accumulation of decisions by individuals. ... John Stuart Mill (20th May 1806 – 8th May 1873), a British philosopher and political economist, was an influential liberal thinker of the 19th century. ... John Neville Keynes (31 August 1852 - 15 November 1949) was a British economist and father of John Maynard Keynes. ... Lionel Charles Robbins, Baron Robbins (1898 - 1984) was a British economist of the 20th century who proposed one of the early contemporary definitions of economics, Economics is a science which studies human behavior as a relationship between ends and scarce means which have alternative uses. ... Milton Friedman (July 31, 1912 – November 16, 2006) was an American economist and public intellectual who made major contributions to the fields of macroeconomics, microeconomics, economic history and statistics while advocating laissez-faire capitalism. ... Paul Anthony Samuelson Paul A. Samuelson (born May 15, 1915, in Gary, Indiana) is an American economist known for his work in many fields of economics. ... Ludwig Heinrich Edler von Mises (September 29, 1881 – October 10, 1973) was a notable economist and a major influence on the modern libertarian movement. ... Kenneth Arrow Kenneth Joseph Arrow (born August 23, 1921) is an American economist, winner of the Bank of Sweden Prize in Economic Sciences in 1972. ... For other persons named John Hicks, see John Hicks (disambiguation). ... Amartya Sen Amartya Kumar Sen CH (Hon) (Bengali: Ômorto Kumar Shen) (born 3 November 1933 in Santiniketan, India), is an Indian philosopher, economist and a winner of the Bank of Sweden Prize in Economic Sciences (Nobel Prize for Economics) in 1998, for his work on famine, human development theory, welfare...


See also

The neutrality and factual accuracy of this article are disputed. ... Positive economics, value-free economics or wertfrei economics (from the German wertfrei, meaning value-free) is the part of economics that focuses on facts and cause-and-effect relationships. ...

References

Kenneth Arrows monograph Social Choice and Individual Values (1951, 2nd ed. ... Milton Friedmans book Essays in Positive Economics (1953) has as its lead an original essay The Methodology of Positive Economics, on which this article focuses. ... John R. Hickss book Value and Capital (1939) is a classic exposition of microeconomic theory. ... Human Action: A Treatise on Economics is the magnum opus of the Austrian economist Ludwig von Mises. ... Lionel Robbins Essay (1932, 2nd ed. ... Foundations of Economic Analysis is a book by Paul A. Samuelson published in 1947 (Enlarged ed. ...

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