Yes, There Are Individual Economists Worth Paying Respect to. But Is Economics Worth Paying Respect to?

Fareed Zakaria: The End of Economics?: "In the three decades since the end of the Cold War, economics has enjoyed a kind of intellectual hegemony. In the three decades since the end of the Cold War, economics has enjoyed a kind of intellectual hegemony... first among equals in the social sciences... dominated most policy agendas as well.... That hegemony is now over.... In October 2008, Greenspan, a lifelong libertarian, admitted that 'the whole intellectual edifice… collapsed in the summer of last year'...

...The assumption of rationality actually produces misunderstandings and bad predictions. It is worth noting that one of the very few economists who predicted both the dot-com bubble that caused the crash of 2000 and the housing bubble that caused the crash of 2008 was Shiller, who won the Nobel Prize in 2013 for his work in behavioral economics. Recent events have hammered still more nails into the coffin of traditional economics. If the great divide of 20th-century politics was over free markets, the key splits that have emerged in the past few years involve immigration, race, religion, gender, and a whole set of related cultural and identity issues. Where in the past one could predict a voter’s choice based on his or her economic standing, today voters are driven more by concerns about social status or cultural coherence than by economic self-interest....

Let me be clear: Economics remains a vital discipline.... That economics has since slipped from that pedestal is simply a testament to the fact that the world is messy.... We will desperately need economics but also political science, sociology, psychology, and perhaps even literature and philosophy. Students of each should retain some element of humility...


#noted

Comments