Tractable falsifiability

Ronen Gradwohl, Eran Shmaya

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


We propose to strengthen Popper's notion of falsifiability by adding the requirement that when an observation is inconsistent with a theory, there must be a 'short proof' of this inconsistency. We model the concept of a short proof using tools from computational complexity, and provide some examples of economic theories that are falsifiable in the usual sense but not with this additional requirement. We consider several variants of the definition of 'short proof' and several assumptions about the difficulty of computation, and study their different implications on the falsifiability of theories.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)259-274
Number of pages16
JournalEconomics and Philosophy
Issue number2
StatePublished - May 7 2015


  • Falsifiability
  • computational complexity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Philosophy
  • Economics and Econometrics


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