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Reiss, Julian (2008) Explanation. In: Durlauf, Steven N and Blume, Lawrence E, (eds.) New Palgrave Dictionary of Economics. Palgrave Macmillan, Hampshire, UK. ISBN 9780333786765

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Identification Number: 10.1057/9780230226203.0534


Explaining socio-economic phenomena is one important aim of economics. There is very little agreement, however, on what precisely constitutes an adequate economic explanation. Starting from the very influential but defective ‘deductive-nomological model’ of explanation, this article describes and criticizes the major contemporary competitors for such an account (the probabilistic–causal, the mechanistic–causal and the unificationist models) and argues that none of them can by itself capture all aspects of a good explanation. When seeking to explain a socio-economic phenomenon it should therefore be borne in mind that different types of explanation serve different purposes.

Item Type: Book Section
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2008 Palgrave Macmillan
Divisions: CPNSS
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
Date Deposited: 08 Jun 2011 10:56
Last Modified: 15 Sep 2023 09:28

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