[OPE-L:4441] empirical work

Gerald Lev (glevy@pratt.edu)
Wed, 19 Mar 1997 06:07:33 -0800 (PST)

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Paul Z wrote in [OPE-L:4410]:

> and Lenin's "Development of Capitalism in Russia" is ahead of
> Sraffa's "Production of Commodities by Means of Commodities"
> In fact, it would be great to see more Marxist "empirical" work.

That raises an interesting point that I've been wanting to make for some
time. It seems to me that "empirical work" has been interpreted too
narrowly to mean statistical and/or econometric investigations (I think
this reflects a bias in "mainstream" economics). Yet, I think, Lenin's
book could be interpreted as an attempt at "empirical analysis" as well
-- even though Lenin relied on the statistical work, case studies, and
historical writings of others. It seems to me, in other words, that
statistical analysis is only one aspect of "empirical" work and that
class analysis, case studies on individual firms and markets, etc., and
historical investigations are other important aspects of "empirical

In solidarity, Jerry