The Limits of Economic Science

Essays on Methodology

  • Richard B. McKenzie

Part of the Kluwer Nijhoff Studies in Human Issues book series (KNSHS)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xi
  2. Richard B. McKenzie
    Pages 1-10
  3. Richard B. McKenzie
    Pages 91-98
  4. Back Matter
    Pages 99-127

About this book


The essays in this volume were a challenge to me to write. I am an economist to the core, inclined to evaluate most observed behavior and public policies with conventional neoclassical theory. The essays represent my attempt to come to grips with the meaning and importance of what I try to do as a professional economist. They reflect my attempt to acquire a new and improved understanding of the usefulness and limitations of the writings of professional economists, especially my own. In this regard, although I hope others will find the thoughts useful, the volume represents a personal statement of how one economist views his and others' work. For that reason the discussion is often openly normative, tinged with the conviction that social discourse is more than costs and benefits and that economics cannot be fully evaluated by the methods - economic methods - that are the subject of the evaluation. These essays could not have been written without considerable encouragement and help from colleagues and friends. The following people are recognized for having read one or more chapters and for having contributed critical, substantive comments: Diana Bailey, Wilfred Beckerman, Geoffrey Brennan, William Briet, James Buchanan, Delores Martin, David Maxwell, Mary Ann McKenzie, Warren Samuels, Robert Staaf, Richard Wagner, Karen Vaughn, and Bruce Yandle. I am very much in their debt. However, they should not be held accountable for any of the positions taken and any errors that may remain.


economics evaluation labor market trade

Authors and affiliations

  • Richard B. McKenzie
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Clemson UniversityUSA
  2. 2.Heritage FoundationUSA

Bibliographic information

  • DOI
  • Copyright Information Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 1983
  • Publisher Name Springer, Dordrecht
  • eBook Packages Springer Book Archive
  • Print ISBN 978-94-009-7423-4
  • Online ISBN 978-94-009-7421-0
  • Buy this book on publisher's site
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