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The ''closure'' assumption as a first step: Neo-Ricardian economics and Post-Keynesianism

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)423-443
Number of pages21
Issue number4

King's Authors


In this paper I accept that just as mainstream economics can be characterized by its insistence upon a deductivist method, so the least contentious, most widely accepted aspects of Post-Keynesianism can be accounted for by its anti-deductivist stance and more specifically by its tacit commitment to something like critical realism. I argue that neo-Ricardian economics, to the extent that it takes closure for granted as a natural and useful starting point for analysis, retains an underlying commitment to deductivism and so is difficult to reconcile with Post-Keynesianism. By providing a criterion for assessing whether neo-Ricardianism belongs within a coherent Post-Keynesianism I also clarify why the nature of this relationship has for so long remained unresolved. Not until it was recognized that coherence within Post-Keynesianism turns upon methodological issues, and essentially involves the abandonment of the deductivist framework, could progress in understanding its relationship with neo-Ricardianism be made.

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