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How Influential is Economics?


Frey, Bruno S (2006). How Influential is Economics? De Economist, 154(2):295-311.

Abstract

Economists often claim that their discipline has a great influence on the economy. An analysis of the existing literature reveals, however, that little convincing empirical evidence exists. The two approaches used are subject to major shortcomings. The "Economics Production Function" relating the input of economic ideas to economic outcomes, is faced with major estimation problems. The "Revealed Behaviour Approach" of choosing to study economics is based on very restrictive assumptions. It is argued that the "Case Study Approach" analysing specific policy instances constitutes a more promising avenue and should be undertaken to identify more general patterns of influence.

Economists often claim that their discipline has a great influence on the economy. An analysis of the existing literature reveals, however, that little convincing empirical evidence exists. The two approaches used are subject to major shortcomings. The "Economics Production Function" relating the input of economic ideas to economic outcomes, is faced with major estimation problems. The "Revealed Behaviour Approach" of choosing to study economics is based on very restrictive assumptions. It is argued that the "Case Study Approach" analysing specific policy instances constitutes a more promising avenue and should be undertaken to identify more general patterns of influence.

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12 citations in Web of Science®
12 citations in Scopus®
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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:03 Faculty of Economics > Department of Economics
Dewey Decimal Classification:330 Economics
Language:English
Date:2006
Deposited On:07 May 2008 08:40
Last Modified:05 Apr 2016 12:23
Publisher:Springer
ISSN:0013-063X
Publisher DOI:10.1007/s10645-006-9005-2
Permanent URL: http://doi.org/10.5167/uzh-2466

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