One needs to know what to measure and how is one to know that unless one has a theory which is a-priory?I agree that the opposite view is also problematic: how are we to know that a theory is true unless we can test it?Any policy conclusion necessarily rests on a prediction about the consequences of doing one thing rather than another, a prediction that must be based-implicitly or explicitly-on positive economics.
Two individuals may agree on the consequences of a particular piece of legislation.
One may regard them as desirable on balance and so favor the legislation; the other, as undesirable and so oppose the legislation.
Self-proclaimed "experts" speak with many voices and can hardly all be regarded as disinterested; in any event, on questions that matter so much, "expert" opinion could hardly be accepted solely on faith even if the "experts" were nearly unanimous and clearly disinterested.
3 4 Essays in Positive Economics the source of continuous and extensive controversy and the occasion for frequent legislation.
Friedmans theories have their foundation in empiricism: if economics is ever to become a science, it has to be guided by empirical research.
It is for this reason that he has become so influential.Worth reading if you are curious about the major currents in economics and which still influence our view of monetary theory today. Friedman presents a completely different way to look at verification of knowledge in general and the actual usefulness of how realistic to reality the assumptions of any given scientific theory really are.Milton Friedman was an American Nobel Laureate economist and public intellectual.Former Federal Reserve Board chairman Alan Greenspan stated, "There are very few people over the generations who have ideas that are sufficiently original to materially alter the direction of civilization.This content was uploaded by our users and we assume good faith they have the permission to share this book. Of course, the fact that economics deals with the interrelations of human beings, and that the investigator is himself part of the subject matter being investigated in a more intimate sense than in the physical sciences, raises special difficulties in achieving objectivity at the same time that it provides the social scientist with a class of data not available to the physical sci2.How is one to resolv Read it as I was writing my thesis on monetary theory.Could one not analyze the same material and reach different conclusions? Another problem associated with this empiricist stance is that the use of statistics is not necessarily value-free. As Keynes says, it deals with "what is," not with "what ought to be." Its task is to provide a system of generalizations that can be used to make correct predictions about the consequences of any change in circumstances. Positive economics is in principle independent of any particular ethical position or normative judgments.If you own the copyright to this book and it is wrongfully on our website, we offer a simple DMCA procedure to remove your content from our site. Report copyright / DMCA form Essays in Positive Economics Essays in Positive Economics BY MILTON FRIEDMAN THE UNIVERSITY CHICAGO OF AND CHICAGO LONDON PRESS Acknowledgment is hereby made to the following publishers for per1nission to reprint material which originally appeared olver their imprints: AMERICAN ECONOMIC REVIEW RICHARD D. HARVARD UNIVERSITY PRESS ISBN: 0-226-26403-3 (paperbound) Le N: 53-3533 THE UNIVERSITY OF CHICAGO PRESS, CHICAGO, 60637 The University of Chicago Press, Ltd., London Copyright 1953 by The University of Chicago. Printed in the United States of America 01 00 99 98 97 96 13 14 15 16 17 @) The paper used in this publication meets the minimum requirements of the American National Standard for Information Sciences - Permanence of Paper for Printed Library Materials, ANSI 239.48-1984. INTRODUCTION THE METHODOLOGY OF POSITIVE ECONOMICS 3 PART II. Social science or economics is by no means peculiar in this respect-witness the importance of personal beliefs and of "home" remedies in medicine wherever obviously convincing evidence for "expert" opinion is lacking.PRICE THEORY 47 THE MARSHALLIAN DEMAND CURVE THE "WELFARE" EFFECTS OF AN INCOME TAX AND AN EXCISE TAX 100 PART III. THE RELATION BETWEEN POSITIVE AND NORMATIVE ECONOMICS Confusion between positive and normative economics is to some extent inevitable. The current prestige and acceptance of the views of physical scientists in their fields of specialization-and, all too often, in other fields as well-derives, not from faith alone, but from the evidence of their works, the success of their predictions, and the dramatic achievements from applying their results.