Overcoming Herding in the Social Sciences

Below is an INET interview with Professor John Davis. He discusses how the professional context in which economic research is produced influences the content of research in ways that I believe undermines the ability of practitioners to produce creative, insightful, rich, and compelling interpretations of economic phenomena. As such, the economics profession, because of its institutional structure, is failing in important ways to live up to the scientific ideal of free and open inquiry.

Following Professor Davis’ interview I posted a link to another INET interview, this one with Professor Katharina Pistor where she explains her inter-disciplinary approach to the relation among culture, law and financial markets. An important part of her research consists in dialectically engaging the rational actor framework (economics) and the socially embedded actor framework (sociology), so as to arrive at a more explanatorily robust analytical framework. As she notes, an important part of her strategy has been to bring together lawyers/legal scholars, economists, and sociologists to critique their own theories by looking at where their analytical frameworks fail to capture significant elements of those empirical cases on which their research is focused.

Given the problems with the economics profession that Professor Davis raises and those I raised in my economic imperialism post, I think that Professor Pistor’s dialectical approach to social science research should be the way of the future.

2 Responses to Overcoming Herding in the Social Sciences

  1. Pingback: Why Economics Is and Should Be Informed by Values | The Social Rationalist

  2. Pingback: Overcoming Herding in the Social Sciences « Economics Info

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