Research Programs, Model-Building and Actor-Network-Theory: Reassessing the Case of the Leontief Paradox

Journal of Economic Methodology, Vol. 11, No. 4, pp. 455-476

Posted: 27 Mar 2007

See all articles by Sharon Shewmake

Sharon Shewmake

Western Washington University - Economics

Justin Bledin

University of California, Berkeley

Abstract

Methodology of scientific research programs (MSRP), model-building and actor-network-theory (ANT) are woven together to provide a layered study of the Leontief paradox. Neil De Marchi's Lakatosian account examined the paradox within an Ohlin-Samuelson research program. A model-building approach rather highlights the ability of Leontief's input-output model to mediate between international trade theory and the world by facilitating an empirical application of the Heckscher-Ohlin Theorem. The epistemological implications of this model-building approach provide an alternative explanation of why Samuelson and other prominent economists ignored the paradox. By focusing on the network in which input-output analysis evolved, Bruno Latour's ANT further explains the response of international trade theorists.

Keywords: Leontief paradox, Heckscher-Ohlin Theory, research programs, models as mediators, actor-network theory

JEL Classification: B20, B41, C67, F10

Suggested Citation

Shewmake, Sharon and Bledin, Justin, Research Programs, Model-Building and Actor-Network-Theory: Reassessing the Case of the Leontief Paradox. Journal of Economic Methodology, Vol. 11, No. 4, pp. 455-476, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=975162

Sharon Shewmake

Western Washington University - Economics ( email )

United States

Justin Bledin (Contact Author)

University of California, Berkeley ( email )

310 Barrows Hall
Berkeley, CA 94720
United States

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