on models they all take the metatheoretical perspective: apparatus of the philosophy of science is used to illuminate some theoretical issues in economicmodelling. However, as it is common in philosophy, no agreement has been reached as to merits and
Bradley, J. — Untiedt, G. (2007): Do economicmodels tell us anything useful about Cohesion Policy Impacts? Mimeo.
Allocation of 2005 EU Expenditure by Member State
. Various issues. European Commission
Anti-Equilibrium (1971) was well ahead of its time in emphasising that (i) economics should draw from biology, rather than physics, as its methodological underpinning; (ii) evolutionary logic requires a different type of decision-making in simple, routine matters, as opposed to large and important decisions; (iii) the most important production processes are non-linear, with increasing returns to scale being the rule, rather than the exception in modern capitalist economies and — in conclusion — that there is no such thing as general equilibrium. In modern societies, goods and services are either in shortage (Socialism) or in a state of oversupply (Capitalism). It is either a buyers’ market or sellers’ market.
This paper addresses the hottest potato of economics today, namely why the profession seems to have been lulled into a sense of false security in spite of flourishing economic models as well as subfield-knowledge in various disciplines? The embarrassing question of the Queen of England ‘why did nobody see the crisis of 2008 coming’ emblematically signalled the failure of the collective imagination of the entire profession to understand the system and its emerging patterns. The present paper can be seen therefore as a clarion call for grounding a shift towards an economics barded with the lessons learnt in complexity science in shaping modern governance.
For the last few decades, considerable attention has been paid to the methodology of mainstream economics. It is not mere chance that economics is surrounded by methodological debates. If its relevance is at stake, this can be either refuted or proven most efficiently at a methodological level. Arguments for and against mainstream economics underline the methodological homogeneity of mainstream economics, while serious, though almost neglected, arguments can be found for a view according to which the long history of mainstream economics can be described as a sequence of methodological breaks. I argue, firstly, for a sharp demarcation by new classical macroeconomics from the Friedmanian instrumentalism and, secondly, for the realism of new classicals. I strive to identify the epistemological principles underlying Lucas’ models and to highlight the signs of that demarcation as well. I concentrate on the techniques by which new classicals could set their models into an indirect relationship with reality. It is also highlighted that the common terminology, according to which the assumptions of abstract economic models are uniformly regarded as “unrealistic”, actually refers to two different techniques. From these approaches, there is only one which can be justifiably labelled as realist.