‘Instrumentalist’ interpretations of economic theories have been held to provide justification for the rightness of being indifferent to the ‘realism’ or otherwise of the assumptions underlying a theory. In this view, what is important for an economist engaged in formulating policy is to have a theory which is capable of generating accurate predictions. This note asserts, with the help of a very simple example, that theories based on unrealistic assumptions are—precisely contrary to its claim—inimical to the interests of an instrumentalist view of theories. Tests of predictive accuracy can be narrow or broad. When narrow, the likelihood is high of there being a large number of theories passing the test—but this could also raise the chances of survival of (unrealistic) theories which may have unintended and undesirable policy outcomes. On the other hand, when the scope of the test of predictive accuracy is widened, the set of contending theories is likely to be small, with the survivors restricted to those based on ‘realistic’ assumptions.
Quality & Quantity – Springer Journals
Published: Mar 11, 2011
It’s your single place to instantly
discover and read the research
that matters to you.
Enjoy affordable access to
over 18 million articles from more than
15,000 peer-reviewed journals.
All for just $49/month
Query the DeepDyve database, plus search all of PubMed and Google Scholar seamlessly
Save any article or search result from DeepDyve, PubMed, and Google Scholar... all in one place.
Get unlimited, online access to over 18 million full-text articles from more than 15,000 scientific journals.
Read from thousands of the leading scholarly journals from SpringerNature, Elsevier, Wiley-Blackwell, Oxford University Press and more.
All the latest content is available, no embargo periods.
“Hi guys, I cannot tell you how much I love this resource. Incredible. I really believe you've hit the nail on the head with this site in regards to solving the research-purchase issue.”Daniel C.
“Whoa! It’s like Spotify but for academic articles.”@Phil_Robichaud
“I must say, @deepdyve is a fabulous solution to the independent researcher's problem of #access to #information.”@deepthiw
“My last article couldn't be possible without the platform @deepdyve that makes journal papers cheaper.”@JoseServera