Table of Contents

Handbook of Research Methods and Applications in Heterodox Economics

Handbook of Research Methods and Applications in Heterodox Economics

Handbooks of Research Methods and Applications series

Edited by Frederic S. Lee and Bruce Cronin

Despite the important critiques of the mainstream offered by heterodox economics, the dominant method remains econometrics. This major new Handbook provides an invaluable introduction to a range of alternative research methods better suited for analysing the social data prominent in heterodox research projects, including survey, historical, ethnographic, experimental, and mixed approaches, together with factor, cluster, complex, and social network analytics. Introductions to each method are complemented by descriptions of applications in practice.


Frederic S. Lee and Bruce Cronin

Subjects: economics and finance, history of economic thought, methodology of economics, post-keynesian economics, radical and feminist economics, research methods, research methods in economics


The origin of the Handbook of Research Methods and Applications in Heterodox Economics is found in developments in methodology that occurred in the 1960s and 1970s which rejected deductive and non-causal forms of theorizing and questioned the sole use of quantitative statistical methods for evaluating theories that dominated much of the social sciences at the time. One outcome of the developments was the emergence of critical realism, which constitutes the philosophical foundation of this Handbook. Specifically, critical realism has its roots in the 1970s philosophical developments which argued that, for cause-and-effect events to occur in the world, there must be underlying causal mechanisms combined with structures to make them happen. By the late 1980s, critical realism had emerged as the philosophical foundation for a causal analysis in the social sciences; and by the early 1990s, it had entered heterodox economics through Tony Lawson (1997, 2003), his colleagues and students (Fleetwood 1999), and the critical realism workshop at Cambridge that has been ongoing since 1989/90. A second outcome was the development of the research strategy for theory development and evaluation known as the ‘method of grounded theory’. Initially developed in 1967 by Barney Glaser and Anselm Strauss, it was first used in sociology and nursing; but over time it spread to other disciplines where qualitative research on social relations, social networks, and intentional actions through acting persons are important.