Academic journal article Journal of Economic Issues

Reply to Whalen

Academic journal article Journal of Economic Issues

Reply to Whalen

Article excerpt

Whalen argues that my conclusions are a product of the design rather than a true reflection of the reality of institutionalist research. This might be true. In my article [1993, 3], I said that the choice of articles could be questioned and that an interesting research task could be to look at a selection of books instead. Mentioning a couple of examples, as Whalen does, is, however, not a good argument for his proposition. To substantiate his claim, he should present at least some material to show how common certain methodological techniques are in reality among institutionalists.

Whalen asserts that I am contradicting myself on the use of models in mainstream economics. This is partly correct and reflects the gulf in mainstream economics between theoretical and empirical (econometric) work. In theoretical works, the authors often claim only that the models show what can happen. In empirical work, the basic assumptions of, e.g., profit maximization, are used in such a way that it must be assumed that the assumptions at least are approximations.

Whalen's discussion is partly concerned with what he reads between the lines in my article. …

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