Against representative agent methodology

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Garnett and Boettke both seek to identify the appropriate behavior for the representative scientist. The social structure of science is better represented, however, with a heterogeneous agent model. Social epistemology and epistemological naturalism provide context for the argument against representative agent methodology. Asking whether individual scientists should "commit themselves to an approach and pursue it doggedly" or make "a professional commitment to intellectual tolerance, openness, and broad-mindedness" is like asking whether it is better to be a bouncer or a bookkeeper. The question depends on particulars that vary from person to person. Down with representative agent methodology. Up with diversity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)43-55
Number of pages13
JournalReview of Austrian Economics
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 2011
Externally publishedYes


  • Apriorism
  • Epistemological naturalism
  • Experimental epistemology
  • Methodology
  • Peter Boettke
  • Psychologism
  • Robert Garnett
  • Social epistemology

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Economics, Econometrics and Finance


Dive into the research topics of 'Against representative agent methodology'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this