Why Friedman's methodology did not generate consensus among economists?

Journal of the History of Economic Thought 31 (2):201-214 (2009)
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In this paper I study how the theoretical categories of consumption theory were used by Milton Friedman in order to classify empirical data and obtain predictions. Friedman advocated a case by case definition of these categories that traded theoretical coherence for empirical content. I contend that this methodological strategy puts a clear incentive to contest any prediction contrary to our interest: it can always be argued that these predictions rest on a wrong classification of data. My conjecture is that this methodological strategy can contribute to explain why Friedman’s predictions never generated the consensus he expected among his peers.



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David Teira
Universidad Nacional de Educación a Distancia

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References found in this work

The Structure of Science.Ernest Nagel - 1961 - Les Etudes Philosophiques 17 (2):275-275.
An Architectonic for Science.Wolfgang Balzer, C. Ulises Moulines & Joseph D. Sneed - 1990 - Philosophy of Science 57 (2):349-350.
Fundamentals of Concept Formation in Empirical Science.Edward Poznański - 1958 - Journal of Symbolic Logic 23 (3):353-354.

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