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>" Economic events tend to be highly dissimilar in terms of context (Great Depression? 1988 Savings and Loans Crisis? 1997 Asian Financial Crisis? 2008 Global Financial Crisis?)"

I'm not sure this is true, either. Financial crises are surprisingly similar [0].

[0]http://www.amazon.com/This-Time-Different-Centuries-Financia...

>"These are founded upon a large body of knowledge of causation and empirics in medicine, chemistry, and biology"

And what about new discoveries? What do they do then?

Some things are easy. Some things are new, you have little data, and have to make a best guess. Same as economics.




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