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OpenEc - Economics and the “real-world”: the case of the Portuguese Memorandum

Research Group





The impact (or the lack of impact) of “real world” economic events and developments on “economic science” is the question that frames this project.

The exploration in this project focuses on the Portuguese troika memorandum, its policy implementation, the assessment of its consequences, and their feed-back effect on economic theories.

This exploratory study involves three main steps: 1) disclosing the articulation between the implicit ends and values of the Portuguese memorandum, its theoretical foundations, its policies and its measures of performance; 2) Examining the memorandum’s policy implementation, identifying its consequences and their putative feed-back effects on “economic science”; 3) Examining how features of reality perceived has problematic conform (or fail to conform) to stabilized conventions of quantification.

In fact, previews periods of economic disruption have given rise to crises and “paradigm shifts” within the discipline of economics. This was the case with the “Keynesian revolution”, during the Great Depression, or the neoliberal turn, during the 1970s and 1980s, following the so called “oil crises”.

What may explain the current apparent immunity of economics to crisis events? The question is relevant especially if making economics more sensitive to the consequences of economic policies, that is, “opening up economics to the “real world””, is perceived as a goal worth pursuing.

Period: 2014 - 2015

Funding Institution: Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia - FCT | EXPL/IVC-ESCT/2324/2013

Coordination: José Maria Lemos de Castro Caldas (CES); Ana Costa (DINÂMIA'CET-IUL)


External Team: Tiago Santos Pereira, Vítor Neves, Paulo Alexandre Chaves Coimbra


- Conference: As narrativas da crise e a crise das narrativas | 17 February 2016


Updated: 31/01/2018


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