Whether the economic knowledge is “experimental”?

TERRA ECONOMICUS, , Vol. 14 (no. 3),

In each historical period, almost every field of social knowledge had been implicitly tested. The question has arisen again and again, whether philosophy, sociology, social psychology and institutionalism are indeed sciences. History and economics appear to be the most “suspicious” disciplines. In case of history, such a suspiciousness is easily explained due to peoples’ changing vision of its own present, past and future, which is new for each new generation. Economic science receives its own portion of humiliation: the new age requires economics to give (and immediately!) “somewhat useful” – which would result in a tangible benefits for society instead of endless “dangerous” discussions on the role of the state in the economy, the role of entrepreneurship, on disparities in the distribution of natural resource rents, and so on. In turn, economists continue to assure that their profession is not the same as the profession of technologist or production engineer, but rather closer to sociologist. However these assurances have not yet been successful, since, the government clearly declares its position, emphasizing the importance of practical recommendations instead of economists’ philosophizing. Making its best endeavour to provide these “practical recommendations”, economists face the problem of decreasing graduation completion rates in economics departments. But this time, the Russian economic science is heavily challenged by the “double test”: not only to provide “practical recommendations”, but to transform into a new state of “experimental economics”. This article deals with the issues discussion around “experimental” character of economic knowledge. The author deals with the issues of an essential element of the scientific characteristics of the economic categories, the starting point of economic science, reproducibility of experimental economic knowledge, the conceptual context of experimental economics.

Keywords: experimental economics; economic theory and practice; applied economics; validity of economic knowledge

Publisher: Southern Federal University
Founder: Southern Federal University
ISSN: 2073-6606