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ECON 110 (130)
Lecture

Day 4 - How economists work.odt

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Department
Economics
Course
ECON 110
Professor
Ian James Cromb
Semester
Fall

Description
Positive versus Normative Positive statements • statements of what “is” or “was” or “will be” • testable • right and wrong Examples • increase in min wage leads to higher youth unemployment • taxing carbon emissions reduces carbon emissions Normative statements • statements of what “should be” • value judgements • no right or wrong • based on “positive” evidence Examples • we should increase the minimum wage • we should tax carbon emissions Disagreements in Economics • can be based on the positive • is this the right model to analyze the phenomenon/question being studied? • does the empirical analysis really test the positive proposition • but also on the normative • differences in value judgements over the relative importance of various (possibly competing) policy goals. Economic theories • economics is a social science • as such it adheres to the scientific method • theories are proposed,
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