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Nicholas Kaldor and Critical Realism

Therese Jefferson () and John King

Review of Political Economy, 2009, vol. 21, issue 3, 463-480

Abstract: Kaldor was among the first Post Keynesians to be identified by Tony Lawson as a forerunner of critical realism, and there are some insights to be gained by considering why this was so. Kaldor's arguments about stylised facts and theory building also provide an opportunity to consider issues of research method. We suggest some criteria that might be used to assess whether a research program is broadly consistent with a critical realist agenda. We then examine Kaldor's contributions to see whether his theoretical and empirical insights fit these criteria. In doing so, we identify several key areas of interest that extend methodological discussion in useful directions. We conclude that Lawson was broadly correct: Kaldor was indeed a forerunner of critical realism.

Date: 2009
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DOI: 10.1080/09538250903073537

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