Pub. date: 2010 | Online Pub. Date: May 25, 2010 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412979290 | Print ISBN: 9781412961424 | Online ISBN: 9781412979290| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this handbook
Chapter 3: Economic Methodology
Timothy A. Wunder
Economic methodology Undergraduate students are often introduced to economic concepts using graphical expressions, and the expressions become the defining method of explaining and exploring the economic realm. The graphs become what the students perceive as “economics,” and this is what is meant as “methodology.” If you ask the students, “How do you do economics?” the answer would be based on the graphical examples offered in the classes. Methodology is a complicated way of saying, “These are the tools economists use to explain the economy.” Beginning students are offered very simple tools to explain the concepts of supply, demand, and equilibrium, but the ideas, as well as the graphs, are all part of the methodology. In most undergraduate economics classes, theory is offered to the student as a body of cohesive ideas set within a structure that seems internally consistent and mutually reinforcing. Such a monolithic view of theory may offer ...