Dilemmas of an economic theorist

A. R. Rubinstein*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


The paper discusses four dilemmas encountered by an economic theorist. The dilemma of absurd conclusions: Should we abandon a model if it produces absurd conclusions or should we regard a model as a very limited set of assumptions that will inevitably fail in some contexts? The dilemma of responding to evidence: should our models be judged according to experimental results? The dilemma of modelless regularities: Should models provide the hypothesis for testing or are they simply exercises in logic that have no use in identifying regularities? The dilemma of relevance: do economists have the right to offer advice or to make statements that are intended to influence the real world?.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)62-80
Number of pages19
JournalVoprosy Ekonomiki
Issue number11
StatePublished - 2008


  • Economic education
  • Economic methodology
  • Experimental economics
  • Game theory
  • Hyperbolic discounting
  • Microeconomic theory


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