How to Be Better Prepared for a Paradigm Shift in Economic Theory, and Write Better Articles in the Meantime

25 Pages Posted: 26 Aug 2006

See all articles by Patrick Welch

Patrick Welch

Saint Louis University - Department of Economics

W. Dolfsma

University of Groningen School of Economics and Business

Date Written: 26 2004, 11

Abstract

The development of economic thought is not unlike the development of technological knowledge: paradigms can be discerned over time and across the field. Indeed, in its history economics has experienced paradigm shifts. There is no reason why it will not do so again in the future. In technology, as in economics, paradigms do not emerge from the blue, but build on precursors, possibly from fields other than our own discipline. Recognizing this draws our attention to other fields, preparing us for a possible paradigm shift. Understanding these other paradigms might best be done using historian Wight’s concepts of plot structure, myths, and cultural endowment. A better understanding of different paradigms allows us to combine ideas from other (sub-) fields with our own so that we are likely to come up with better ideas. In the meantime, as the parallel with the composition of music and the playing of chess shows, we compose better articles in the meantime because we are aware of the rules guiding our own compositions, yet. The history of our own field may be the first and best source for such inspiration.

Keywords: knowledge paradigms, paradigm shifts, myths & plot structure, writing by the rules, history of economics

JEL Classification: M, M13, O32, B25

Suggested Citation

Welch, Patrick and Dolfsma, Wilfred, How to Be Better Prepared for a Paradigm Shift in Economic Theory, and Write Better Articles in the Meantime (26 2004, 11). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=636809

Patrick Welch

Saint Louis University - Department of Economics ( email )

Lindell Boulevard
Saint Louis, MO 63108
United States

Wilfred Dolfsma (Contact Author)

University of Groningen School of Economics and Business ( email )

P.O. Box 800
9700 AH Groningen, Groningen 9700 AV
Netherlands

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