Financial Economics: What Kind of Science Is It?

Conrad Heilmann, Marta Szymanowska, Melissa Vergara Fernandez

Research output: Chapter/Conference proceedingChapterAcademic


The chapter provides a roadmap for how philosophers of science can engage more with financial economics. It argues that financial economics is best characterized by its use of models and its performative nature. This is demonstrated by focusing on the Capital Asset Pricing Model (CAPM), the centre-stage model of asset pricing that enjoys enduring popularity in academic research and industry practice. Assessing the epistemic performance of financial economics, the chapter argues that the model-based and performative character of financial economics is: (1) visible in the history of its emergence and its current scientific practice; (2) central to the kind of insights it aims to generate; and (3) key to understand what kind of ethical values are at play. The questions emerging from these issues are fertile ground for further research in the emerging field of the philosophy of science of financial economics.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Philosophy of Money and Finance
EditorsJoakim Sandberg, Lisa Warenski
Place of PublicationOxford University Press
Publication statusPublished - 2024

Research programs

  • RSM F&A


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