The Demise of Laws in Economics



This chapter shows how science, including economics, has moved away from explaining by subsuming empirical phenomena under general laws towards more model-oriented approaches. Therefore, the author gives arguments for the possibility of economics without laws. ‘The demise of laws in economics’ thus shows how models can be treated as producers of context-dependent theories and in doing so the author refers to Irving Fisher’s mechanical model of money flow. So, he claims that models come first and theories only later. Hardt comments also on the nature of ceteris paribus laws and the so-called normic laws. Next, he analyses the way the idea of economics without laws impacts the natural laws tradition in economics and he concludes that the two are mutually consistent. The chapter ends by philosophically scrutinizing the opinions of Smith, Ricardo, Mill, and Marshall on the nature of economic laws that were presented in the book’s first chapter.


Economic laws and models Ceteris paribus laws Natural laws tradition Irving Fisher 


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© The Author(s) 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Faculty of Economic SciencesUniversity of WarsawWarsawPoland

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