CFP for INEM Cape Town 2015

XII. Conference of the International Network for Economic Method

November 19-22, 2015 University of Cape Town, South Africa

Students please note: The Young Scholars Initiative will hold a pre-conference workshop on 18 November, at the main conference site. For further information please go to this link

The twelfth INEM conference will be hosted by the Research Unit in Behavioural Economics and Neuroeconomics (RUBEN) in the School of Economics at the University of Cape Town.

Keynote speakers: George Ainslie, University of Cape Town & Veterans Affairs Medical Center Coatesville PA; Nancy Cartwright, Durham University; Glenn Harrison, Georgia State University; Edward Leamer, UCLA; Dori Posel, University of KwaZulu-Natal; Nat Wilcox, Chapman University

Panel Discussion, ‘Methodological Issues in Statistical Analysis for Policy Risk Assessment: Sponsored by the Center for Economic Analysis of Risk, Georgia State University. Participants: Nancy Cartwright, Glenn Harrison, Edward Leamer, Nat Wilcox.

Call for papers Proposals for contributed papers as well as symposia (of three papers each) are welcome in all areas of philosophy of economics and economic methodology, including ethical aspects of economics and the foundations of rational choice theory. Submissions that focus on methodological and philosophical issues related to poverty, inequality and development are particularly welcome. We especially encourage submissions from graduate students and members of underrepresented groups. Graduate students whose abstracts are accepted for inclusion in the programme will have travel and accommodation (in on-campus residences) expenses, other than airfare, covered by INEM.

Abstract submission Please submit an abstract (300-500 words) on the online abstract submission form at the following link: Be sure to indicate whether you are a graduate student. To facilitate efforts by accepted contributors to secure institutional funding, acceptances will be communicated on a rolling basis within one month of submission. However, no submissions will be considered after September 10, 2015.

Symposia proposal submission Please submit a description of a symposium (1,500-2,000 words) to . The description should contain both a clear explanation of the topic as well as three short (200-300 words) abstracts of the papers. Please prepare the description for anonymous review and submit it as an attachment (*.pdf). Please include the contact details of the symposium chair and all authors (name, affiliation, email address) in the email. The deadline for submissions is 30 June, 2015. Acceptance will be communicated by 31 July, 2015.

Traveling to Cape Town Cape Town is a long trip for most, but good airfare deals are available on various airlines if booked well in advance. Airlines serving SA from Europe include British Airways, Virgin Atlantic, KLM, Lufthansa, Emirates, Etihad, Turkish Airlines, Air France and South African Airways. Airlines serving SA from North America include Delta, Emirates, American Airlines / British Airways, South African Airways, and Air Canada / Lufthansa. Qantas, Air New Zealand, Korean Air and several Chinese and Japanese airlines fly to Johannesburg with connections to Cape Town.

Accommodations in Cape Town For suggestions and prices on hotels and B&Bs, go to All suggested accommodation sites are in safe areas serviced by secure public transport in addition to taxi service, as is the scenic UCT campus on Table Mountain, where the conference will take place.

Organising committee Greg Fried, Andre Hofmeyr, Harold Kincaid, Don Ross, with assistance from Belinda Chapman


Call for contributors

We invite contributions to the new INEM discussion forum on economic methodology. Although we welcome one-off articles too, we encourage people be regular contributors to the community. We will list your name on the left column once your first contribution appear in the forum.

The Discussion Forum on Economic Methodology

Science advances not only by formal presentations that have been filtered through rigorous peer review, but also by informal chats and private communications among scientists. In the field of economic methodology the Journal of Economic Methodology, Economics and Philosophy, The Erasmus Journal of Economics and Methodology, and occasionally others provide outlets for formal communications. But for informal communications there are fewer provisions.  This is inefficient, particularly for economists whose specialty is methodology, and for philosophers whose specialty is economics, as most lack similarly specialized colleagues in their own departments.

INEM has therefore decided to facilitate a discussion forum, somewhat along the lines of the economic historians’ Professor Tom Mayer (University of California, Davis) has agreed to oversee and lightly edit this Forum. He will be assisted by Dr Michiru Nagatsu (University of Helsinki).

We envision the Forum as consisting of several types of contributions, though we are certainly open to additional types. One is comments on previous contributions to the Forum and on methodological papers or developments that have appeared elsewhere. With journals having virtually eliminated “Comments” sections, or in the case of newer journals never instituted them, such an outlet for criticisms will fill an empty niche.

Another type is a conjecture or a research idea that its originator does not work up into a full-scale journal paper because he or she lacks the time to attempt a rigorous development or got stuck. It would be efficient for all if such ideas were put into the light of day for others to possibly pick up. What the originator would gain is a mention in the standard “the author is indebted to” footnote.

Presenting such ideas might involve anything from a single paragraph to several pages. And they need not necessarily be “ideas” in the narrow sense of the term. Someone might have developed a new data set to test a certain hypothesis., then find that it cannot be tested that way, and hence have data not useful to themselves but potentially valuable to someone else.

A third type is a  brief note drawing attention to something economic methodologists should know but are unlikely to  hear about. This could involve interesting new discoveries from the archival papers of important thinkers, or insights from discussions in other fields that appear to have applications in economic methodology.

A fourth type is to warn colleagues away from a failed research project that one has tried. There is less scope for this in methodology than in econometrics, but “less” does not mean zero.

And then, there are book notes and book reviews. In a field that draws on such a widely scattered literature as the methodology of economics, book reviews and brief “books received” notes, as carried, for example, in  the Journal of Economic Literature, are especially useful.

Finally, the Forum can also carry personal matters, such as listing job changes, retirements, etc. (as the AER did at one time), and even jokes about economic methodology.

Although submissions to the Forum will not be peer reviewed in the usual sense, submissions will be screened to exclude the rudeness and personal attacks that infect some blogs. They will also be screened to exclude obvious nonsense and ideological ranting, They might also be rejected for being too long (over 1,000 words in most cases) or too far outside the area of economic methodology.

Please contact Michiru Nagatsu (michiru.nagatsu ‘at’ helsinki ‘dot’ fi) if you want to contribute to the forum.