my impression is that much of the discussion about the
SFM is unclear - in terms of shifting agreements and disagreements - because of a confusion that is frequent within the discipline. Just to make my point, you cite the following remark on the SFM:
'The SFM “methodology is philosophically and theoretically
developed from, and consistent with, the original evolutionary-institutional economics . . . and is one of the most comprehensive, empirical, and policy-relevant methodologies to come out of OIE”'.
I do not want to be pedantic but SFM is not a ‘methodology’
(‘the analysis of the principles or procedures of inquiry in a particular field’ – Merriam Webster) but a method (‘a way, technique, or process of or for doing something’ - ibid).
Whether a method (a tool) such as the SFM - or ABM -
is most appropriate to deal with a specific problem depends on methodology. If I am carrying out a thought experiment – consider the ‘trivial’ issues underlying the Prisoners’ Dilemma -
SFM may even be of no use at all. And, yet, thought experiments are important.
Hi, Greg, and all,
I very much argued in favor of some methods combination, and you seem to agree in the end, if I got that right:
“This exchange has stimulated me to think that an endeavor that needs to be undertaken is to enter ABM, equational systems, computation systems, and the like each into a SFM in order to articulate missing components of each and to compare similarities and differences. That is, make those approaches the problems to be defined and analyzed with the SFM.”
I do not see that ABM necessarily carries a particular set of assumptions, and namely not necessarily neoclassical mainstream ones. But I agree that ABMs can easily lead to any “measurement without theory”. But a number of institutionalist young scholars have already shown that it can be fruitfully used in institutionalist research.
So, my suggestion was: starting from the safer ground of a SFM for some defined problem setting, we should try in future institutionalist network/matrix research to fill in proper ABM algorithms for parts of the SFM accessible this way, i.e. computable. But not just to show their shortcomings but to constructively qualify the SFM research.
Attached please find my response to comments about the social fabric matrix.