A scheme for comparing competing claims in economics: JEL classification B4 economic methodology (B41 General) 04 economic growth and aggregate productivity (O40 General)

J P Marney, Heather Tarbert

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


The main purpose of this paper is to suggest a general scheme for the examination of claims to scientific authority. The formulation of a scheme within which rational discourse can take place, and comparisons
between competing paradigms can be made, is argued to have particular urgency for the neoclassicists in the light of the emergence of increasingly vociferous dissenting schools in economics, who see themselves either as
the opponents of neoclassicism, or not in full agreement with mainstream neoclassicism. No strong position is taken on the relative merits of either camp, as the primary purpose of the paper is to suggest a way of achieving
meaningful dialogue through explicit recognition of the way in which research is done. It is argued that a functional descriptive mapping scheme for distinguishing between competing claims may be derived from the
work of Ziman, Stewart and, to some extent, Kuhn. By way of example, the suggested framework is used to examine neoclassical claims in the area of growth theory.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3-29
Number of pages27
Journal Journal of Inter-Disciplinary Economics
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1999
Externally publishedYes


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