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The Methodology of Macroeconomic Thought

A Conceptual Analysis of Schools of Thought in Economics Sheila C. Dow, Professor of Economics, University of Stirling, UK
In The Methodology of Macroeconomic Thought, Sheila Dow attempts to bridge the gap between methodology and macroeconomic theory through the study of four different schools of thought in economics – the Neo-Austrian, mainstream, PostKeynesian and Marxian traditions – and by seeking to understand their methodological foundations in their own terms.
Extent: 272 pp
Hardback Price: $145.00 Web: $130.50
Publication Date: 1996
ISBN: 978 1 85278 980 0
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Paperback Price: $49.00 Web: $39.20
Publication Date: 1998
ISBN: 978 1 85898 909 9
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  • Economics and Finance
  • Methodology of Economics
  • Post-Keynesian Economics
In The Methodology of Macroeconomic Thought, Sheila Dow attempts to bridge the gap between methodology and macroeconomic theory through the study of four different schools of thought in economics – the Neo-Austrian, mainstream, post Keynesian and Marxian traditions – and by seeking to understand their methodological foundations in their own terms.

In this substantially-revised new edition of her classic work, Macroeconomic Thought: A Methodological Approach, Dr Dow argues for methodological awareness among practising economists as a basis for constructive debate and reasoned argument. The methodological content has been substantially increased to include material on recent developments in the field. After analysing the historical and methodological development of each of the schools, the author covers the micro-foundations of their macroeconomics and their approaches to key concepts including equilibrium, expectations, money and macroeconomic policy. The author seeks to identify the sources of differences between schools of thought as well as potential and actual commonalities before examining their differences at a conceptual level. Unlike other accounts, mainstream economics is treated here as one school of thought on a par with Neo-Austrian economics, PostKeynesian economics and Marxian economics.

The Methodology of Macroeconomic Thought will be welcomed by readers for its description and analysis of these schools in their own terms, as well as for the wider perspective it offers on methodology.
‘This book provides an excellent springboard for reflection on issues of theory construction. . . Dow provides a complete snapshot of the current state of macroeconomics.’
– F. Cameron Maclachlan, Review of Political Economy

‘Dow makes a compelling argument that methodogy matters, even for those solely interested in public policy.’
– R.S. Hewett, Choice

‘The value of Dow’s book is that it provides a systematic comparison of heterodox and mainstream views on fundamental methodological issues in macroeconomics . . . it has few rivals, and this revised edition, along with its more appropriate title, is to be welcomed.’
– Roger E. Backhouse, The Economic Journal
Contents: 1. Introduction 2. Modes of Thought in Economics 3 . Methodological Issues in Economics 4. The Historical and Methodological Development of Schools of Thought in Macroeconomics 5. The Micro-foundations of Macroeconomics 6. Equilibrium 7. Expectations 8. Money 9. Methodology and Macroeconomic Policy 10. Conclusion Bibliography Indexes