Rev Austrian Econ (2006) 19: 125–136
The fragility of a discipline when a model has monopoly
David M. Levy · Sandra J. Peart
Springer Science + Business Media, Inc. 2006
Abstract We consider the consequences of a scientiﬁc literature with only one model of
an important phenomenon. The falsiﬁcation of the model would mean falsiﬁcation of the
science. Scientists who would prefer not to have their discipline falsiﬁed will be tempted to
ﬁnd ad hoc explanations to excuse the failure. To test this hypothesis we propose a study of
the economic forecasts of the comparative Soviet and American growth rates in the years
before a public choice model of central planning was a viable alternative to the public interest
Keywords Central planning
Preferences over estimates
JEL Code A11, B23
Data is Latin for “given.” Given by whom? Surely, not by God.
One question must always be uppermost in the investigator’s mind:
what are the ﬁgures trying to prove?
Earlier versions of the paper were presented at the University of Manitoba Economics Department Retreat in
October 2005 and at the Center for Study of Public Choice Wednesday Seminar in November 2005. We
thank the participants for their suggestions. All the remaining errors are our responsibility.
D. M. Levy (
Center for Study of Public Choice, George Mason University, Fairfax VA 22030
S. J. Peart
Economics Department, Baldwin-Wallace College, Berea OH 44017