Thursday, January 23, 2014

Emergent Economics on Methodology

Dan Gay writes:

"Thinking about methodology – how methods are selected and applied – is important when practising development economics. Economists are far too reluctant to question their underlying methodology, preferring to think of the discipline as a standardised approach rather than a toolkit or a process of enquiry using ideas from other social sciences like social and political theory. The discipline probably doesn’t carry the same scientific status as the natural sciences, and it should be a lot more modest.
Reflexivity means in part a process of critical self-examination, involving reflection on outside influences as well as the specific peculiarities of a situation. Maybe development economics itself should become more case-study based, empirical and context-orientated instead of so often applying theories based on deductive modelling?"
I would be quite interested to see some examples of the successful use of ethnographic methods to address economic questions and concerns. There seems to be a lot of suggestion in the economics world today about the potential rewards to be reaped from broadening economic methodology, but it is hard  to come across examples of economists actually doing this.

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