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The Rise of a Mainstream in Economics

Michel De Vroey () and Luca Pensieroso ()

No 2016026, Discussion Papers (IRES - Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales) from Université catholique de Louvain, Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales (IRES)

Abstract: Our paper contends that the existence of mainstream economics ought to be understood as a particular case of the now widespread certification phenomenon, which defines good practices on the grounds of a compliance with well-defined standards. Basing our analysis on Leijonhufvud’s vision of the construction of economic theory, we document the fragmentation process which economics has undergone from the marginalist revolution to the present. Studying the evolution of five sub-branches of economics, we show how at the end of the 1970s loose standards for good research practices were replaced by narrower ones in each of them. We claim that this change and the emergence of a mainstream were two faces of the same process.

Keywords: mainstream; decision tree; neoclassical approach (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: A10 A20 B20 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-his, nep-hme, nep-hpe and nep-pke
Date: 2016-11-18
References: View references in EconPapers View complete reference list from CitEc
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