By Uskali Mäki
Uskali Mäki (ed.)
Milton Friedman's 1953 essay 'The technique of optimistic economics' is still the main pointed out, influential, and arguable piece of methodological writing in twentieth-century economics. considering its visual appeal, the essay has formed clone of economics as a systematic self-discipline, either inside and out of doors of the academy. whilst, there was an ongoing controversy over the correct interpretation and normative review of the essay. Perceptions were sharply divided, with a few viewing economics as a systematic good fortune due to its adherence to Friedman's rules, others taking it as a failure for a similar cause. during this booklet, a group of world-renowned specialists within the method of economics solid new mild on Friedman's methodological arguments and practices from various views. It presents the twenty first century reader with a useful overview of the impression and modern importance of Friedman's seminal work.
"These papers should not simply an imperative precis of prior scholarship but additionally an invaluable consultant for destiny students aiming to increase this dialog into the twenty first century. hugely recommended." - selection
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Additional info for The Methodology of Positive Economics: Reflections on the Milton Friedman Legacy
M. , "Marginal Theory and Business Behavior," American Economic Review, XXXVII (June, 1947), 375-83; R. A. Gordon, 16 Essays in Positive Economics two examples, and the many others they readily suggest, will serve to justify a more extensive discussion of the methodological principles involved than might otherwise seem appropriate. III. CAN A HYPOTHESIS B E TESTED BY THE REALISM OF ITS ASSUMPTIONS? We may start with a simple physical example, the law of falling bodies. It is an accepted hypothesis that the acceleration of a body dropped in a vacuum is a constant—g, or approximately 32 feet per second per second on the earth—and is independent of the shape of the body, the manner of dropping it, etc.
30 As always, the hypothesis as a whole consists not only of this abstract model and its ideal types but also of a set of rules, mostly 28. Principles, p. 329; see also pp. 35, 100, 341, 347, 375, 546. 29. This ideal type can be divided into two types: the oligopolistic firm, if the demand curve for its output is infinitely elastic at some price for some but not all outputs; the monopolistic firm proper, if the demand curve is nowhere infinitely elastic (except possibly at an output of zero). 30.
The particular "assumptions" termed "crucial" are selected on grounds of their convenience in some such respects as simplicity or economy in describing the model, intuitive plausibility, or capacity to suggest, if only by implication, some of the considerations that are relevant in judging or applying the model. B. THE USE OF "ASSUMPTIONS" AS AN INDIRECT TEST OF A THEORY In presenting any hypothesis, it generally seems obvious which of the series of statements used to expound it refer to assumptions and which to implications; yet this distinction is not easy to define rigorously.
The Methodology of Positive Economics: Reflections on the Milton Friedman Legacy by Uskali Mäki