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THE INFLUENCE OF FRIEDMAN'S METHODOLOGICAL ESSAY

Authors
Disciplines
  • Economics
  • Philosophy

Abstract

Many leading methodologists have described the central role that Milton Friedman''s 1953 essay (henceforth referred to as F53) has played in methodological discussions. (See for instance Daniel Hammond, 1998; Kevin Hoover; 2001; Roger Backhouse 2002.) However, it does not necessarily follow that it has had a great influence on the practice of economics, because practicing economists pay little attention to free-standing discussions of methodology; at best they learn their methodology by seeing it put to work on substantive problems.1 Arguably, Friedman and Schwartz''s (1963) A Monetary History of the United States, has had more influence on the methodology of practicing economist than did F53. The most pervasive methodological influence in macroeconomics in the last thirty years has been the insistence of new classical economists on reducing macroeconomics to microeconomics, and in this they paid no attention to philosophical debates about reductionism

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