Economics and underdetermination: a case study of urban land and housing economics

McMaster, R. and Watkins, C. (2006) Economics and underdetermination: a case study of urban land and housing economics. Cambridge Journal of Economics, 30(6), pp. 901-922. (doi: 10.1093/cje/bej002)

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Underdetermination, associated with the Duhem–Quine thesis, is a familiar if under-researched theme in economics. In the light of this, we examine the development of urban land and housing economics. Through its Cartesian dualistic delineation of theory and data, the contemporary mainstream approach appears unable to circumvent the problem of underdetermination. In effect, it employs the strong version of Duhem–Quine in its retention of the assumption of a single, unitary competitive market (and associated access–space trade-off). Conversely, we highlight the affinity of Ely's (and the later Columbia School's) approach to pragmatists Dewey and Peirce, which provides a more fruitful basis for explanation.

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:McMaster, Professor Robert
Authors: McMaster, R., and Watkins, C.
Subjects:H Social Sciences > HB Economic Theory
College/School:College of Social Sciences > Adam Smith Business School > Management
Journal Name:Cambridge Journal of Economics
ISSN (Online):1464-3545
Published Online:22 March 2006

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