• Benjamin Ward


Storytelling is the output of the soft parts of economics. It is not taken seriously, in the sense that a formalist-positivist believes that the only parts of storytelling that are really a part of economics are the parts that can be formalized into the mathematical-statistical framework that is the positivist norm. The continued existence of storytelling as an approach to research by professional economists is thus viewed as a sort of prescientific remnant. But since no one wants to squabble over the definition of the limits of the science, and since there is still a demand for this type of product, especially in undergraduate teaching, there has been very little methodological discussion of the issue. The formalists are quietly confident that storytelling will die out as the older economists retire; perhaps many storytellers agree, or are at least afraid that this will happen, or even suspect that it may be a good thing.


Subjective Probability Undergraduate Teaching Professional Economist Methodological Discussion Modest Role 
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© Basic Books, Inc. 1972

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  • Benjamin Ward

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