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Keynes, Uncertainty and the Global Economy

Beyond Keynes, Volume Two

Edited by Shelia C. Dow

The revival of interest in Keynesian economics since the late 1980s reinstates the importance of Keynes’s contribution to economic theory and policy. This is the second of two volumes in which authoritative contributions are presented by an outstanding group of international experts to celebrate Keynesian economics, and to review and further the developments of post Keynesian economics of recent years.
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Chapter 3: On the issue of realism in the economics of institutions and organizations: themes from Coase and Richardson

Uskali Mäki


Uskali Mäki I INTRODUCTION As suggested on an earlier occasion, the new economics of institutions and organizations deserves special attention by those who are interested in methodological issues in economics (Mäki, 1993b). There appears to be an opportunity for mutual benefit from a closer contact between economic methodology and this broad and varied field of economics. On the one hand, like many other young and burgeoning fields, the new economics of institutions abounds with intriguing methodological issues awaiting the touch of methodologists equipped with sophisticated tools of meta-analysis. Contributions to the resolution of these open methodological issues may turn out to be contributions towards the resolution of some of the more substantive issues in the field at large. On the other hand, economic methodology as a semi-autonomous subfield of study is in need of reorientation, and for this it needs to develop more intimate forms of interaction between methodological theory and the substance of economics. One way of accomplishing this is to acquire empirical evidence pertaining to economics by looking more closely at what economists in this thriving field are doing, what their theories are like, and how they themselves perceive the nature of their endeavour. Most practitioners in the economics of institutions and organizations share a concern for realisticness of theories. This chapter suggests steps towards an analysis of this concern by examining the ideas of two modern classics in the field, Ronald Coase and George Richardson. There is much that these economists share. First,...

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