positive economics

(redirected from Value-free economics)

positive economics

the study of what ‘is’ in economics rather than what ‘ought to be’. For example, the statement that ‘a cut in personal taxes increases consumption spending in the economy’ is a factual statement that can be confirmed or refuted by examining the available empirical evidence on the effects of taxation on spending. Positive economics seeks to identify relationships between economic variables, to quantify and measure these relationships, and to make predictions of what will happen if a variable changes. Compare NORMATIVE ECONOMICS.
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However, Misesian praxeology and its value-free economics is not enough to establish a moral argument for a free society.
A positive, value-free economics, in the sense of not relying on any particular set of value judgments or on any philosophical or psychological framework, is generally seen as ideal.
Drakopoulos, "Origins and Development of the Trend Towards Value-Free Economics," Journal of the History of Economic Thought 19, 2 (1997): 286.
In consequence she may give rise to the impression that Robbins aimed at faulting the normative application of interpersonal utility comparisons, the more so as she connects the dispute with the controversy about value-free economics.
Taking Harrod as an example, she alludes to economists who, demurring at Robbins's negative contention, "warned against the sterility of a value-free economics.
For that matter, many of the ethical and epistemological points that Putnam wants to make can be found already in the ancient Greek philosophers; the first attack on value-free economics, for example, was Plato's dialogue Hipparchus.