Pluralism in economic research: Two studies of women's retirement incomes in Australia
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This paper has three goals. Firstly to briefly highlight some specific aspects of the critical realism debate within economics. Secondly, to examine some of the implications the debate poses for research methods used within economics, particularly the related arguments for a pluralistic approach to research. Thirdly, to illustrate some of the insights that can be gained through using ?non traditional? research methods in economics.To assess the potential for the use of a pluralistic approach to research, two studies of Australian women?s retirement incomes are examined. Using Runde?s criteria for assessing causal explanations, a comparison is made of the outcomes of the two studies (Runde 1998). The conclusion is that, rather than being seen as competing accounts, the outcomes of the two varying research methods used in the studies can be viewed as complementary. By demonstrating the different insights afforded by contrasting research methods, this paper provides some support for pluralism of research methods within the discipline of economics.
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