Critical realism, empirical methods and inference: A critical discussion

P. Downward, John Howard Finch, J. Ramsey

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    53 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    This paper reviews the critical realist critique of the methods of analysis adopted in neoclassical research and argues that there is scope for clearer guidance for economics researchers who wish to pursue empirical research in the critical realist tradition. It is argued that critical realist epistemology, derived from its open-systems ontology, is unnecessarily dismissive in rejecting research methods that draw inferences from stable empirical regularities and patterns. The argument draws upon Keynes's philosophical explanations of decision-making and probability, on behavioural and institutional explanations of emerging and stable institutions, and on inductive research techniques such as grounded theory, to establish a role for a plurality of quantitative and qualitative approaches to critical realist research.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)481-500
    Number of pages19
    JournalCambridge Journal of Economics
    Volume26
    Issue number4
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - Jul 2002

    Keywords

    • economic methodology
    • critical realism
    • quantitative and qualitative research
    • emerging institutions
    • Keynesian probability
    • ECONOMIC-ANALYSIS
    • POST KEYNESIANISM
    • GENERAL-THEORY
    • CRITIQUE
    • DAVIDSON,PAUL
    • INSTITUTIONS
    • UNCERTAINTY
    • PERSPECTIVE
    • PREDICTION

    Cite this

    Critical realism, empirical methods and inference: A critical discussion. / Downward, P.; Finch, John Howard; Ramsey, J.

    In: Cambridge Journal of Economics, Vol. 26, No. 4, 07.2002, p. 481-500.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Downward, P. ; Finch, John Howard ; Ramsey, J. / Critical realism, empirical methods and inference: A critical discussion. In: Cambridge Journal of Economics. 2002 ; Vol. 26, No. 4. pp. 481-500.
    @article{c35d030999e44660ba41fdd679142501,
    title = "Critical realism, empirical methods and inference: A critical discussion",
    abstract = "This paper reviews the critical realist critique of the methods of analysis adopted in neoclassical research and argues that there is scope for clearer guidance for economics researchers who wish to pursue empirical research in the critical realist tradition. It is argued that critical realist epistemology, derived from its open-systems ontology, is unnecessarily dismissive in rejecting research methods that draw inferences from stable empirical regularities and patterns. The argument draws upon Keynes's philosophical explanations of decision-making and probability, on behavioural and institutional explanations of emerging and stable institutions, and on inductive research techniques such as grounded theory, to establish a role for a plurality of quantitative and qualitative approaches to critical realist research.",
    keywords = "economic methodology, critical realism, quantitative and qualitative research, emerging institutions, Keynesian probability, ECONOMIC-ANALYSIS, POST KEYNESIANISM, GENERAL-THEORY, CRITIQUE, DAVIDSON,PAUL, INSTITUTIONS, UNCERTAINTY, PERSPECTIVE, PREDICTION",
    author = "P. Downward and Finch, {John Howard} and J. Ramsey",
    year = "2002",
    month = "7",
    doi = "10.1093/cje/26.4.481",
    language = "English",
    volume = "26",
    pages = "481--500",
    journal = "Cambridge Journal of Economics",
    issn = "0309-166X",
    publisher = "Oxford University Press",
    number = "4",

    }

    TY - JOUR

    T1 - Critical realism, empirical methods and inference: A critical discussion

    AU - Downward, P.

    AU - Finch, John Howard

    AU - Ramsey, J.

    PY - 2002/7

    Y1 - 2002/7

    N2 - This paper reviews the critical realist critique of the methods of analysis adopted in neoclassical research and argues that there is scope for clearer guidance for economics researchers who wish to pursue empirical research in the critical realist tradition. It is argued that critical realist epistemology, derived from its open-systems ontology, is unnecessarily dismissive in rejecting research methods that draw inferences from stable empirical regularities and patterns. The argument draws upon Keynes's philosophical explanations of decision-making and probability, on behavioural and institutional explanations of emerging and stable institutions, and on inductive research techniques such as grounded theory, to establish a role for a plurality of quantitative and qualitative approaches to critical realist research.

    AB - This paper reviews the critical realist critique of the methods of analysis adopted in neoclassical research and argues that there is scope for clearer guidance for economics researchers who wish to pursue empirical research in the critical realist tradition. It is argued that critical realist epistemology, derived from its open-systems ontology, is unnecessarily dismissive in rejecting research methods that draw inferences from stable empirical regularities and patterns. The argument draws upon Keynes's philosophical explanations of decision-making and probability, on behavioural and institutional explanations of emerging and stable institutions, and on inductive research techniques such as grounded theory, to establish a role for a plurality of quantitative and qualitative approaches to critical realist research.

    KW - economic methodology

    KW - critical realism

    KW - quantitative and qualitative research

    KW - emerging institutions

    KW - Keynesian probability

    KW - ECONOMIC-ANALYSIS

    KW - POST KEYNESIANISM

    KW - GENERAL-THEORY

    KW - CRITIQUE

    KW - DAVIDSON,PAUL

    KW - INSTITUTIONS

    KW - UNCERTAINTY

    KW - PERSPECTIVE

    KW - PREDICTION

    U2 - 10.1093/cje/26.4.481

    DO - 10.1093/cje/26.4.481

    M3 - Article

    VL - 26

    SP - 481

    EP - 500

    JO - Cambridge Journal of Economics

    JF - Cambridge Journal of Economics

    SN - 0309-166X

    IS - 4

    ER -