Munich Personal RePEc Archive

Critical realism, grounded theory, and theory construction in heterodox economics

Lee, Frederic (2012): Critical realism, grounded theory, and theory construction in heterodox economics.

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Abstract

This paper proposes an approach to theory creation and evaluation for heterodox economics that is based in the integration of critical realism and the method of grounded theory. Critical realism provides the concepts of structures and causal mechanisms that form the outline of theory construction, while the grounded theory method provides the research strategy to transform them into a theory. After this is set out in the first two sections of the paper, research methods issues, such as data triangulation, case studies, analytical statistics (econometrics), and mathematics and modeling, are discussed. The final section of the paper deals with the historical character of critical realist-grounded theories and the implication for heterodox economic theories.

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