040032 UK Methodology of Economics (BA) (2019W)
- Registration is open from Mo 16.09.2019 09:00 to Mo 23.09.2019 12:00
- Deregistration possible until Mo 14.10.2019 12:00
Classes (iCal) - next class is marked with N
Aims, contents and method of the course
Assessment and permitted materials
Work on the final essay is organized as follows. A student writes a half-page proposal. This proposal is either accepted or is asked to be rewritten. The student then writes an essay of at most 10 pages. The essay has to have a clear introduction where the question is posed the essay addresses. There is a subsequent analysis and a separate conclusion. Deadline for the essay is February 20, 2020.
Minimum requirements and assessment criteria
Literature: Krugman, Paul R. 2009. “How Did Economists Get It So Wrong?” The New York Times Magazine, September 2. http://www.nytimes.com/2009/09/06/magazine/06Economic-t.html.Lecture 2. Introduction to Philosophy of Economics
Literature: Hausman, D. 1984. The Philosophy of Economics: An Anthology. Cambridge UP, chapter 1. J.S. Mill. 1836. On the definition and method of political economy. Excerpt from “On the definition of political economy and the method of investigation proper to it.Lecture 3. Friedman’s Essay
Literature: Friedman, M. 1953. The Methodology of Positive Economics. In Essays of positive economics, pp. 3-43.Lecture 4. Credible Worlds
Literature: Sugden, Robert (2000), ‘Credible Worlds: The Status of Theoretical Models in Economics’, Journal of Economic Methodology, 7 (1), 1 – 31.
Gibbard, A. and H. Varian. 1978. Economic Models. Journal of Philosophy 75, pp. 664-77.Lecture 5. Nature’s Capacities. Are they relevant for Economics?
Literature: Cartwright, Nancy (2009), ‘If no capacities then no credible worlds’, Erkenntnis, 70 (1), 45-58.Lecture 6. Economics Rules
Literature: Rodrik, D. 2015. Economics Rules: The Rights and Wrongs of the Dismal Science. Norton.Lecture 7. Is Game theory empirically empty and if so, can it be still useful?
Literature: Alexandrova, Anna. (2006) “Connecting Economic Models to the Real World: Game Theory and the FCC Spectrum Auctions.” Philosophy of the Social Sciences 36.2: 173-192.Lecture 8. Does Macroeoconomics need Microfoundations?
Literature: Janssen, M. 1993. Microfoundations. Routledge, chapters 2-4, Janssen, M. 2008, `Microfoundations’ in S. Durlauf and L. Blume (eds.). The New Palgrave Dictionary of Economics. MacMillan. Hoover, K. Reductionism in Economics: Intentionality and Eschatological Justification in the Microfoundations of Macroeconomics" (Philosophy of Science 2015),Student Presentations in Lectures 9-12.
Take a classic paper in economics and discuss its (ir)relevance for explaining real world phenomena and/or for the development of economic science. Classic papers include, for example:
1. Akerlof, G. 1970.
2. Lucas, R.
3. Spence, M.
4. Schelling, T.
5. Vernon Smith
6. Thaler, R.
7. Rubinstein, A. 1982.
8. Aumann, R. Can we Rationally Agree to Disagree?Other Nobel Prize laureates can also be chosenOther literature:
Rubinstein, Ariel. “A Sceptic’s Comment on the Study of Economics.” The Economic Journal, 510 (2006): C1-C9.