chapter 9 - 9 Causal Arguments Under-studied in the...

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Unformatted text preview: 9 Causal Arguments Under-studied in the Literature This step is an important one for the interdisciplinarian, especially with respect to economic growth. As noted more than once in this book, disciplines often fail to connect their conversations with those in other disciplines. There is thus much value in the interdisciplinarian pointing out how researchers in different disci- plines might more usefully interact. Such advice often follows from the analysis in chapters 6 through 8 and 10. When pursuing those steps we often suggest useful directions for research. For presentational purposes, then, much of the work of chapter 9 is reported elsewhere. In this chapter we focus on a couple of areas of potentially major importance where research to date has been very limited. How can the researcher identify that which has not been studied? In some cases, previous researchers will have identified missing pieces. However, to rely exclusively on the existing literature would carry the danger that the interdiscipli- narian would continue to ignore that which has already been ignored. The strategy recommended here draws instead on the classifications of phenomena and theory types from steps 2 and 3. Have any causal links or theory types received much less attention than they deserve? 1 In terms of phenomena, there is a surprising omission within the economics category itself. The process of economic growth is rarely discussed with reference to what sort of goods and services are actually produced. Growth, that is, is impli- citly considered to comprise more of the same. Yet we saw in chapter 2 that growth generally involves the introduction of new goods or services. There has been some attention to the broad issue of the shift in resources from agriculture to industry to services that is associated with economic growth. But the more detailed study of the shifting importance of particular goods and services and thus of firms and sectors of the economy has been very rare. In terms of theory types, there has been limited application of relationship analysis with the exception of game theory. Yet network analysis has been applied to a host of other questions across the social sciences. It makes sense, then, to discuss how network analysis might be applied to the study of economic growth. 1 One question to ask is whether non-academic insight fills these gaps? (Szostak 2002, 111). I confess to not having read widely in the non-academic literature. Most of this provides highly simplistic and selective overviews of the growth process. R. Szostak, The Causes of Economic Growth , DOI: 10.1007/978-3-540-92282-7_9, Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2009 267 268 9. Causal Arguments Under-studied in the Literature 9.1 Sectoral Interactions One link within the economy category leaps out as having been little studied: the role of different goods and services (and thus firms and industries/sectors) in the growth process. Solow (2005, 4) in reflecting on the past half century of growth growth process....
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chapter 9 - 9 Causal Arguments Under-studied in the...

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