What are the hypotheses and how to elaborate them?

1.3. Hypotheses and their testing in macroeconomic theories. Speaking mainly about the macroeconomics problems, we may ask what is the ideational element that leads to their differentiation. In fact, macroeconomics and microeconomics are not two distinct parts of the economic reality but two related perspectives to study individually, and both correlated entire economic life of society. We have not a substantial division of the economy (as we divide people into men and women) but only a logical-epistemological division as divide people into "beautiful" and "ugly" and the "good" or "bad" "fatty" or "weak" etc. To achieve such a division is required to operate under a plausible principle, verified as correct, or be assumed (plausible). In this case, the hypotheses are involved.

The hypotheses can be factual (specifically for a particular issue: "the hypothesis that the Earth is round") or "in the epistemological sense."[1] The latter are not mere fictions or contrary to the facts (except the situation where both hypotheses as well as the facts are mental creations).

Being assumptions of a "reality" the hypotheses are only "candidates to truth,"[2] being synonymous with what is a "principle" underlying the research. In this sense, Aristotle said that this "is called the principle of something, something that gives us, first, the possibility of knowledge, as in the case of demonstrations premises."[3] The hypotheses can be (in terms of their functions): logical hypotheses, epistemological or methodological.[4] Without going into details of problems, we present some issues for the analysis of our themes.

We must distinguish the so-called "ad-hoc hypotheses" developed after the facts were available and want to give an "explanation" of them as a false hypothesis (for example, perform an empirical research on SMEs in our country and find - based on the sample used - that most have acted before in a field related to that in which they are SMEs. Based on this "empirical generalizations" we give a so-called hypothesis (in fact, repeating empirical results, which sometimes depends on how the sample is made). "The more experienced in the field in which initiates an SME, the investor is, he is more likely to have more SMEs of this type." This form is not a hypothesis but only an unfounded appreciation of empirical situations as a relationship with the necessary character.

Science hypotheses of science answer at least the following requirements:

1) The hypotheses have a previous provenience source of events (realities) that these involve.

There are different cases:

1a) The hypotheses are based on some experimental data observed on which is brought a mental construction that, not only repeat the facts given in experience as with ad-hoc hypotheses) also brings a new insight into reality principle which generates the observed facts. For example, the experience shows that the competitive process is not conducted in accordance with the amount of competitor activity (we have no competition as A. Smith assumed) but with their market power (the strongest is not necessarily the best). In this case we formulate a new hypothesis that competition is based on, say, the ability to concentrate and use the powerful resources and research capacity and innovation and further: "globalization leads to a new inequality regarding the power to innovate based on the unequal economic power."[5]

This hypothesis can be tested and verified (as true or false), as a factual hypothesis that underlies the analysis of new competition in the global markets.

1b) The hypotheses resulting from theoretical field of discipline and involve -after the model of K. Popper - the generating of a new problem from a reply (see paragraph 1.1.).

1c) The hypotheses are generated by "surprises reality" ("serendipity"). This model, developed by Th. Kuhn, is contrary to the logical-deductive model of K. Popper (paragraph 1.1.), offering an inductive vision. After Kuhn, the reality confronts the researcher, always with new and new facts that do not fall in the explanatory models. These "anomalies" accumulates, triggering a "scientific revolution" in which a new model takes the place of the old; in this case, the hypotheses are "suggested" by unpredictable "anomalies." But also in this development, the hypotheses are "behind them" a fundamental processuality which generates the hypothesis processes. For example, production and consumption standardized model dominated capitalist economy (and still dominant in some countries and in Romania). Gradually, new and new "anomalies" have started to appear as deviations from the model (the preference for stronger product and cheaper in the market segmentation based on mainly economic criteria). A new behavior appeared to be formed (highlighted by P. Drucker after that the markets begin to segment based on lifestyle criteria).[6] The personalization of consumption hypothesis (and consequently of production) is justified by theoretical argument of addiction in general, of consumption of sociocultural patterns of behavior. These models, having a historical character, might assume a "break" in the evolution of consumer's behavior (and others') that can generate hypothesis.

2) Scientific hypotheses are generative; they have a function to produce new knowledge. Since, on the one hand, a cognitive foundation in a previous step, they, on the other hand, have a set (or sets) of logic and epistemological consistent consequences. Thus, a hypothesis is particularly important as it is the foundation of a "field" broader theory. In this respect, we have primary hypotheses (those who are "on top" of theories) and auxiliary. In the construction of macro and microeconomics, the primary hypotheses are those which state the preponderance (not absolutization) of collectivist or individual perspective.

The probability of a hypothesis refers to the degree of trust that is present and that after the event began to be tested.[7] Plausibility (as opposed to probability, which is an objective measure) is a subjective measure of confidence. One hypothesis is more probable, since allowing more precise predictions to be made from it. A zero probability means a null precision. A null plausibility (degree of certainty of the potential of discovery) implies a null certainty. Potential for discovery is the measure of subjective certainty of the hypothesis, so that the more certainty is high, the potential is smaller. There is therefore an inverse relation between plausibility and potential for discovery.

The hypothesis of Say Jean-Baptist (1767-1832), known as "Say's Law" (1863) requires that "products are exchanged for other products;" hence the impossibility of overproduction crisis (a thesis of great theoretical and practical value).

Say's hypothesis "shows that money market is always in balance because, regardless of price, people offering goods only to use money received from other goods of 'immediate need.'"[8] Say's hypothesis has many consequences on economy.

Keynes (1883-1946) reformulated "Say's Law" (1936) in phrase "supply creates its own demand." Keynes criticized Say's thesis by affirming that the balance between supply and demand is established automatically by virtue of free market competition. Keynes' criticism addresses the hypothesis "laissez-faire" (initiated by Quesnay, 1758) - the classical theory of non-intervention state and put by Adam Smith at the base of his theory ("Adam Smith's invisible hand" referred to the role of markets -considered perfect - to drive personal interests towards the general interests of society). Keynes shows that supply-demand balance is possible not only when the available inputs are fully used but also in terms of their under spending. The Keynesian doctrine marked the definitive end of "laissez-faire doctrines."[9]

Keynes completed his vision about spontaneous market mechanisms with the important role of factors/psychological subjects such as:[10] 1) the "law" of inclinations for consumption (people tend to save a portion of revenues, which discriminates the demand) 2) the "law" of inclination of entrepreneurs - towards the marginal efficiency of new investment (their tendency to invest and create new jobs only in if they have the perspective of obtaining the desired profit rate) 3) the "law" of inclination to cash amounts (the preference to keep their economies in cash if the return on investment is lower than that of depositing money in banks or liabilities, etc.).

The new Keynes' hypothesis of Keynes has a higher probability (than the spontaneous adjustment through the market) and thereby it enables more numerous and valuable discoveries. It also has a higher plausibility (it is more reliable, thus it provides greater confidence), which makes the discovery potential to be lower (i.e. surprise discovery is less, because it is more probable, more realistic and reliable, it allows to foresee more secure a series of discoveries). Just this hypothesis has also generated a new hypothesis of P. Drucker (we talked about) and then demanded personalization hypothesis and therefore the product.

Testability hypotheses is a major demand of their scientific nature, therefore, in the selection theories

  • [1] Bunge Mario, op. cit., 22.
  • [2] The term derives from the Greek word "hypotithemei" = "put under," i.e. what is set to the "base" of our judgments.
  • [3] Aristotle, Metaphysics. Book V, Bucharest, 131.
  • [4] *** (1982), Theory of Scientific Knowledge (collective work). Bucharest: Academy Publishing House.
  • [5] Hoffman Oscar, and Ion Glodeanu (2006), Knowledge - New Power Resource. Bucharest: INTACT, 55.
  • [6] Drucker felt that market "which until then had been regulated on income was now regulated on life-style." Drucker, Peter (1993), Innovation and Entrepreneurship. Bucharest: Encyclopedic Publishing House, 74.
  • [7] Theory of Scientific Knowledge, 177. 38 Ibid., 177.
  • [8] Blang, Mark, Keynes, op. cit., 285.
  • [9] Blang, Mark, op. cit., 691.
  • [10] Valeanu Ivanciu, Nicholas (1992), History of Economic Thought. Bucharest: Didactical and Pedagogical Publishing House, 175.
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