Research-based policy analysis and commentary from leading economists
Economic Research - Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco
Economists have flirted with a less substantive characterization ofindividual motivation and with a more expansive view of the domain ofeconomics. In his influential monograph, An Essay on the Nature andSignificance of Economic Science, Lionel Robbins defined economicsas “the science which studies human behavior as a relationshipbetween ends and scarce means which have alternative uses”(1932, p. 15). According to Robbins, economics is not concerned withproduction, exchange, distribution, or consumption as such. It isinstead concerned with an aspect of all human action. Although Robbins'definition helps one to understand efforts to apply economic concepts,models, and techniques to other subject matters such as the analysis ofvoting behavior and legislation, it seems evident that economicsmaintains its connection to a traditional domain.
Economic analysis and research summaries for a general audience.
The aim is to emphasize the significance of abduction in order to illustrate the problem-solving process and to propose a unified epistemological model of scientific discovery.