Methods of Economic Analysis

Methods of Economic Analysis:

In economics, generally we make use of two techniques.
1. Deductive method and
2. Inductive method

The deductive technique is also termed as abstract technique or analytical technique. This technique is based on a priori reasoning and conclusions are drawn from some fundamental suppositions. Deduction technique was very popular among Greeks. Here is an illustration:

All men are mortal
Socrates is a man
Socrates is mortal

The deductive technique moves from the general supposition to the particular application.

Ricardo, a classical economist, made employ of the deductive technique. The inductive technique moves from particular observations to generalization. It was Francis Bacon who advocated inductive technique in scientific enquiry.

None of the above techniques offers satisfactory system for solution of problems. Therefore Darwin, who is well-known for this theory of evolution, by introducing the idea of hypothesis, has combined deductive and inductive techniques.

The significant elements of Darwin’s deductive-inductive technique are:

1. Identification of a trouble

2. Formulation of hypothesis (i.e., a hypothesis is an assumption or an intelligent guess)

3. Collection, organization & analysis of data

4. Formulation of conclusions

5. Verification, refusal or modification of the hypothesis after testing it.

In past, there was a debate amongst economists concerning the question which is the best technique? Inductive or Deductive? However the controversy is not there now. Nowadays, economists feel that both induction and deduction are essential for the science, merely as the right and left foot are required for walking.


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