Chapter 5: Historical method and data
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According to Frederic Lee, heterodox economics studies the social provisioning process. As a process implies movement through time, an understanding of history and historical change would seem necessary to study social provisioning. Living up to this claim, however, has proven to be difficult in practice. As a step towards overcoming these challenges, the present chapter argues that the agency–structure framework espoused by critical realists permits the use of genuinely historical methods and data. With the support of this argument, this chapter is devoted to an evaluation of research methods for an economics informed by history, and one that understands social change as the interaction between agents and social structures.

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