This text discusses the concept of progress in economics and investigates whether any advance had been made in its different spheres of research. The authors look back at the history, successes and failures of their respective fields and thoroughly examine the notion of progress from an epistemological and methodological perspective. The idea of progress is particularly significant as the authors regard it as an essentially contested concept which can be defined in many ways - theoretical or empirical; local or global; as encouraging or impeding the existence of other research traditions. The authors discuss the idea that for progress to make any sense there must be an accumulation of knowledge built up over time rather than the replacement of ideas by each successive generation.
Part I Progress - a contested concept?: does progress matter?, Donald Winch; is there really progress in economics?, Mark Blaug. Part II Progress in the history of ideas - alternative approaches: on applying Foucauldian methods to the history of economic thought, Klaus Hamberger; a conservative approach to progress in economics, Jack Birner; metaphors in the "Wealth of Nations", Sergio Cremaschi. Part III Roundtable - is there progress in economics?. Part IV Normative economics: is there progress in normative economics?, Philippe Mongin. Part V Monetary economics: new lines of research in monetary economics, Augusto Graziani; the credit theory of Carl Knies, Hans-Michael Trautwein. Part VI Trade and location: on the new economic geography and the progress of geographical economics, Stephen Meardon; how new is the "new trade theory" of the past two decades?, Andrea Maneschi; the "institutional factor" in the theory of international trade - new versus old trade theories, Sergio Parrinello; location theory and mathematical programming - progress or redicovery?, Manuel Fernandez-Lopez. Part VII Currents of thought: contemporary responses to teh Tableau Economique, Richard van den Berg; progress in Austrian economics from Menger to Lachmann, Sandye Gloria-Palermo; Walras' Law and the IS-LM Model - a tale of progress and regress, Hansjorg Klausinger; information costs, deliberation costs and transaction costs - a parallel treatment, Maurice Lagueux. Part VII Reflections of the classical long-period method: produced quantities and returns in Sraffa's theory of normal prices - textual evidence and analytical issues, Fabio Ravagnani; on the long-period method - a comment on Ravagnani, Heinz D. Kurz, Neri Salvadori; Sraffa's price equations - stationary economy or "normal positions"?, Pierangelo Garegnani.
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