Chapter 9: Economics as Usual: Geographical Economics Shaped by Disciplinary Conventions
Uskali Mäki and Caterina Marchionni1 9.1 INTRODUCTION Is economics a proper science at all? Or if it qualifies as a science, does it underperform, does it fail to fulfil its scientific duties? Does it perhaps just pretend to proceed as a science by applying principles and techniques that are not suitable for addressing its proper subject matter and for meeting the legitimate expectations? There is a long and live tradition of economics-bashing and economics apology in posing and answering such questions. One popular current in this tradition is to blame economics for being theory-driven or method-driven or driven by whatever else but the world or empirical evidence or observation. Economics thus does not care about the real world – indeed, being so deeply shaped by its favourite theories and methods disconnects economics from the world. The alternative to this gloomy scenario is for a discipline to be evidence-driven or worldoriented or to be guided by some such proper scientific ethos. Being theory-driven involves stressing scientific virtues such as simplicity, coherence, convenience, tractability, formal rigor, theoretical elegance, and so on. Being observation-driven or world-oriented means emphasizing the importance of truth, complexity, empirical testing, practical relevance, and so on. Sometimes the former is characterized as a deductive approach, in contrast to the latter inductive approach. Diagnosis of the failures of economics and advice for how to do better economics is often put in such dichotomous terms. This popular way of framing the issues and debates is all too simplistic and outright distortive....
You are not authenticated to view the full text of this chapter or article.
Elgaronline requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books or journals. Please login through your library system or with your personal username and password on the homepage.
Non-subscribers can freely search the site, view abstracts/ extracts and download selected front matter and introductory chapters for personal use.
Your library may not have purchased all subject areas. If you are authenticated and think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.