Browsing by Subject "philosophy of economics"

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  • Aydinonat, Nuri Emrah (2018)
    Economists have long been criticized for their use of highly idealized models. In Economics rules: Why economics works, when it fails, and how to tell the difference [Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2015] Dani Rodrik responds to this criticism by offering an account of models that emphasizes the diversity of models in economics. Rodrik’s account presents a rare opportunity for economists and philosophers of economics to engage in a mutually beneficial exchange that could improve our understanding of the power and limits of economics, and the rights and wrongs of the dismal science. The symposium on Rodrik’s Economics Rules is the first attempt to seize this opportunity.
  • Mireles-Flores, Luis (2018)
    This essay is a review of the recent literature on the methodology of economics, with a focus on three broad trends that have defined the core lines of research within the discipline during the last two decades. These trends are: (a) the philosophical analysis of economic modelling and economic explanation; (b) the epistemology of causal inference, evidence diversity, and evidence-based policy, and (c) the investigation of the methodological underpinnings and public policy implications of behavioural economics. The final output is inevitably not exhaustive, yet it aims at offering a fair taste of some of the most representative questions in the field on which many philosophers, methodologists, and social scientists have recently been placing a great deal of intellectual effort. The topics and references compiled in this review should serve at least as safe introductions to some of the central research questions in the philosophy and methodology of economics.
  • Blanco Sequeiros, Sofia (Helsingin yliopisto, 2019)
    This thesis explores the problem of extrapolating causal claims in the social sciences, particularly economics. The problem of extrapolation is the problem of inferring something about a phenomenon of interest in one context, based on what is known about it in another. For example, we may want to infer that a medicine works in population $Y$, based on the fact that we know it works in population $X$. Extrapolation is the inferential process of generalizing or transporting claims about a phenomenon of interest to new populations or settings. The answers to the problem of extrapolation in philosophy of science aim to explain how successful extrapolation is possible, as there will always be relevant differences between the two systems. I study extrapolation from the viewpoint of philosophy of science, which aims to both analyze and complement science and scientific knowledge. I also use a case study with two examples to further illustrate the relationship between the theoretical approaches to extrapolation in philosophy of economics and actual studies in experimental economics. I focus on comparative process tracing, a general account of extrapolation developed by philosopher of science Daniel Steel, and its success in extrapolating causal claims from field experiments in economics. The first chapter introduces central concepts and key questions. The second chapter discusses external validity, a concept typically used in economics to describe the potential of causal claims to be extrapolated. The third chapter introduces comparative process tracing, which explains how and why extrapolation can be based on knowledge about causal mechanisms. Next, I discuss field experiments in economics and methodological issues of extrapolation particular to them. The fourth chapter consists of a case study, which shows the limitations of approaching extrapolation in economics with comparative process tracing. The last chapter concludes. The central conclusion of this thesis is that even though comparative process tracing is meant as an account of extrapolation that can explain and apply to extrapolation across disciplines, applying it to economics faces methodological challenges. Nevertheless, the issues it faces with regard to field experiments in economics do not refute it as an account of mechanistic extrapolation. I propose that comparative process tracing is a theoretically comprehensive epistemological account of extrapolation in the social sciences, but it must be complemented with a systematic methodological account of problems of extrapolation in practice. This methodological account complements and enhances epistemological analysis of extrapolation.
  • Lari, Teemu (2021)
    An intuitively appealing argument for pluralism in economics can be made on the grounds that schools of economic thought complement one another. Let us call this the complementarity-based argument for pluralism (CAP). The concepts of complementarity, pluralism, and school of thought are scrutinized in this paper to evaluate this argument. I argue that the complementarity of schools is relative to scientific goals, which implies that discussing complementarity of schools of economic thought requires discussing the goals of economic research. I also distinguish weak from strong complementarity and show that some alleged complementarity relations between schools are weak and thus provide little support for CAP. However, if strong complementarity relations, relative to a valuable goal, can be demonstrated to exist between specific schools, this is a strong reason for pluralism about those schools. Finally, I provide suggestions on how to distinguish strong from weak complementarity.
  • Nagatsu, Michiru; Lisciandra, Chiara (Springer, 2021)
    The interdisciplinary exchange between economists and psychologists has so far been more active and fruitful in the modifications of Expected Utility Theory than in those of Game Theory. We argue that this asymmetry may be explained by economists' specific way of doing equilibrium analysis of aggregate-level outcomes in their practice, and by psychologists' reluctance to fully engage with such practice. We focus on the notion of belief that is embedded in economists' practice of equilibrium analysis, more specifically Nash equilibrium, and argue that its difference from the psychological counterpart is one of the factors that makes interdisciplinary exchange in behavioral game theory more difficult.