Handbooks of Research Methods and Applications series
Edited by Frederic S. Lee and Bruce Cronin
Chapter 3: An interdisciplinary perspective on heterodoxy
Scholars of interdisciplinarity stress the importance of ‘disciplinary perspective’, a mutually supportive set of theories, methods, subject matter, philosophical attitudes, concepts, and assessment guidelines that guide research in each discipline. Heterodox economics, with its emphasis on diverse methods, theories, and subject matter, can usefully be informed by the scholarship of interdisciplinarity. This chapter draws several implications for the practice of heterodox economics. Heterodox theories will often be justified best with recourse to heterodox methods. Likewise alternative methods are often called for when investigating variables usually ignored by economists. In turn the choice of a particular method influences the sort of theory and type of variables that will be engaged. Yet no method is perfect for exploring any question, and thus all economists should be (but generally are not) aware of the compensating strengths and weaknesses of different methods. These are briefly outlined, and their suitability for investigating particular theories and variables is discussed.
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