On economic paradigms, rhetoric and the micro-foundations of macroeconomics – John S.L. McCombie and Loana Negru

This paper considers from a methodological point of view why disputes in macroeconomics over its fundamental assumptions regularly occur. It analyses the problem first using Kuhn’s concept of the paradigm and then draws on McCloskey’s use of rhetorical analysis. It finds the latter of limited help due to the problem of incommensurability between paradigms. It concludes with a discussion of the debate over the need for rethinking the issue and rigour of micro-foundations in macroeconomic theory, notably in terms of the representative agent model.

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