A Research Annual: Volume 19


Table of contents

(44 chapters)

This research considers scientific decision making, providing the first systematic study and explicit description of decision criteria employed by econometricians in method choice decisions. The documentation of econometric history is used as the source of information regarding method choice. Information from the histories is used to create a method choice taxonomy and a method choice database. Contingency tables are formed from the database and chi-square tests are run on hypotheses. The taxonomy reveals that econometricians base their method choice decisions on scientific, pragmatic, theoretical, metaphysical, and sociological factors. Statistical results suggest that econometricians' reports of the reasons for method choice vary depending upon the type of source in which the information is presented.

This paper responds to Keith Tribe's provocative Journal of Economic Literature article, “Adam Smith: Critical Theorist?” There Tribe argued that most people most of the time grossly misread Smith, due, among other things, to their quite inadequate appreciation of Smith's linguistic, social, moral, and theological context. Against Tribe, the paper argues that Smith can profitably be read as both an eighteenth-century moralist and a twenty-first century critic. Smith can be a source of inspiration, wisdom and profundity for contemporary economists. Moreover, Smith can be successfully employed by modern economists to change, deepen, and broaden contemporary economic theory.

This essay puts forward a new interpretation of Irving Fisher that integrates his scientific work with his moral crusades, and places both in the context of his times. The key to the new interpretation is Fisher's book on The Nature of Capital and Income (1906) where he lays out his vision of the economic process and presents his theory of income, neither one of which ever gained acceptance. The new interpretation challenges the standard view of Fisher's scientific work as an anticipation of the post war neoclassical synthesis.

James Branch Cabell was an American journalist, novelist, and essayist, whose best-known work is that of fantasy. His 1919 work, Beyond Life, has a chapter entitled “Which Admires the Economist.’ In it he explores three modes of or attitudes toward life, together constituting the economy: the gallant, the chivalrous, and the poetic, the last of the three providing the raw materials for creativity. The exchange economy is combined with the creative versus the prosaic person and with the abstract versus the practical modes of living. The result amounts, in part, to a theory of entrepreneurship or leadership.

Publication date
Book series
Research in the History of Economic Thought and Methodology
Series copyright holder
Emerald Publishing Limited
Book series ISSN