positive vs normative

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Economists often say they stick to ‘positive statements’, and that ‘normative statements’ are something different. However they seem to disregard common sense here. People ( as well as economists ) have value judgements that are almost implicitly derived from positive statements.

By constantly stressing that they are being objective it seems like economists have something to hide. Maybe they ARE actually trying to influence the conclusions of other people. Maybe they are actually people in real life (!!) with opportunity costs associated with picking their research areas, and they spend years at schools like George Mason focussing on those subjects that have the biggest influence on people’s normative judgements.

By picking your objective battles you already make an implicit normative statement. Why hide this behind the shield of ‘objectivity’ ? It will only anger people.

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3 Responses to “positive vs normative”

  1. Paula Infanti Says:

    Hi, it’s Paula…

    I am running into this problem. My economics prof is accusing me of not being “positive” because I prefer to shop locally for localy made things…

  2. Paula Infanti Says:

    Hi, it’s Paula

    I am running into this problem. My economics prof. is accusing me of not being “positive” because I prefer to shop locally for locally made things, and because I believe by doing this, it will boost the US local economy…

    Paula

  3. Acne No more content Says:

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