Экономическая теория как (социальная) наука? (О книге M. Boumans, J. Davis «Economic Methodology. Understanding Economics as a Science »)
This review discusses the latest textbook on economic methodology. It shows that its authors think of the philosophy of science as primarily the philosophy of “hard”, natural sciences and have not tried to interpret economic theory as a social science. At the same time the book is characterized by its attention towards more recent methodological approaches, in particular, to the rhetoric of economics, and this direction might be considered as promising.
The paper provides comparative analysis of leading research programmes in the field of comparative economics, as well as assessment of their actual and potential role in an economist’s tool kit. Analysis covers research programmes, which are either explicitly or implicitly comparative. The first group includes both traditional Comparative Economic Systems approach (especially in versions of T.Koopmans - J.Montias and E.Neuberger - W.Duffy), and recent Comparative Institutional Analysis of A.Greif and M.Aoki. The second group is presented by German Ordo-liberalism initiated by W.Eucken and by more recent French Theorie de la regulation research programme. Comparative economics is analysed from the perspective of Eucken’s Great Antinomy with underlying controversies over the nature of economic knowledge. The challenge comes back to the Methodenstreit of the late XIX century, while adequate response to it is still on the agenda. Most of modern economic theory is highly dependent on ceteris paribus clause. It is argued that to relax this dependence, economics should take comparative research strategy quite seriously. Methodological analysis of the field of comparative economics indicates some neglected, but crucial epistemological grounds of economic inquiry (especially heuristic role of ideal-typical constructs) and points out at comparative economics as an indispensable tool for bridging gaps between theoretical and empirical inquiry, as well as between the science and the art of economics.
The results of research presented in the monograph, are divided into three interrelated sections. In the first section called "The problems of methodology" the emphasis is made on the ontological analysis in economic methodology, on relationships between theoretical models and reality. In the second section "General problems of economic systems analysis" the authors deals analize prerequisites of macroeconomic theories and the current crisis of the mainstream economics, as well as new approaches to the analysis of reproduction of fixed capital. Concluding section presents critical analysis of "orthodox economic doctrines" - Marxism and neoclassical canon of XXth century economics in the context of economic evolution.
The article discusses the features of the Aristotelian tradition of studies in human behavior and the concept of justice that was focal to this tradition. An appeal to the Aristotelian tradition allows to revise critically the incontestability and productivity of relegating the role of ethics to the sphere of normative judgments that characterizes the approach of modern economics
The thirty second issue of the collection includes two sections: «Theoretical problems of economics and institutional reforms» and «Applied problems and practice of institutional reforms in Russia
In the interview, Prof. Piketty expressed his skepticism about economists’ tendencies toward using formal models. Early on, he recognized the limits of an economic approach that was applied in ignorance of history. This profoundly affected his future academic career. He admits that his successful research on inequality was possible only in cooperation with other social disciplines.
In addition, Prof. Piketty talked about main ideas of his book Capital in the Twenty-First Century and its
restrictions. In particular, he pointed out that there has been insufficient attention toward economic growth.
In his opinion, in order to explain economic growth, one should take into account historical perspective and
analyze government’s policies toward public education and the health system. The French economist also
noted his intention to reconcile Karl Marx and Pierre Bourdieu’s conflicting views on a relationship between
economic and cultural forms of inequality.