Measurement in economic systems

Abstract

The metrology literature neglects a strong empirical measurement tradition in economics, which is different from the traditions as accounted for by the formalist representational theory of measurement. This empirical tradition comes closest to Mari's characterization of measurement in which he describes measurement results as informationally adequate to given goals. In economics, one has to deal with soft systems, which induces problems of invariance and of self-awareness. It will be shown that in the empirical economic measurement tradition both problems have been on the agenda for a long while, and that the proposed solutions to these problems provide clues for the directions in which one could develop a measurement theory that takes account of soft systems.

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