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Progress in economics

Northcott, Robert and Alexandrova, Anna (2009) Progress in economics. Oxford Handbook of Philosophy of Economics. pp. 306-337.

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Abstract

The 1994 US spectrum auction is now a paradigmatic case of the successful use of microeconomic theory for policy-making. We use a detailed analysis of it to review standard accounts in philosophy of science of how idealized models are connected to messy reality. We show that in order to understand what made the design of the spectrum auction successful, a new such account is required, and we present it here. Of especial interest is the light this sheds on the issue of progress in economics. In particular, it enables us to get clear on exactly what has been progressing, and on exactly what theory has – and has not – contributed to that. This in turn has important implications for just what it is about economic theory that we should value.


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Item Type: Published Article or Volume
Creators:
CreatorsEmailORCID
Northcott, Robertr.northcott@bbk.ac.uk
Alexandrova, Annaaa686@cam.ac.uk
Keywords: economics; progress; theory; models; auctions
Subjects: General Issues > Confirmation/Induction
Specific Sciences > Economics
General Issues > Models and Idealization
General Issues > Realism/Anti-realism
General Issues > Theory Change
Depositing User: Dr Robert Northcott
Date Deposited: 29 Nov 2018 17:09
Last Modified: 29 Nov 2018 17:09
Item ID: 15397
Journal or Publication Title: Oxford Handbook of Philosophy of Economics
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Subjects: General Issues > Confirmation/Induction
Specific Sciences > Economics
General Issues > Models and Idealization
General Issues > Realism/Anti-realism
General Issues > Theory Change
Date: 2009
Page Range: pp. 306-337
URI: https://philsci-archive-dev.library.pitt.edu/id/eprint/15397

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