Speaker: Michel De Vroey, Université catholique de Louvain
Title: Mainstream Economics. A matter of methodology.
Abstract: This paper stems from our view the notion of mainstream economics is useful for shedding light on the development and present state of economics on the condition that it receives a methodological grounding. We claim that it rose in the 1980s as the result of an extension of the methodological standards which had always prevailed in microeconomics to a wide range of other fields of economics. We document this claim through a study of the transformations that took place in macroeconomics, industrial organization, labor economics and development. We further discuss the impact of the recent surge of empirical economics on the configuration of mainstream economics. Finally, we put our claim to the test by studying the content of articles published in top journals in 1970, 1990 and 2010.