The Economics Discipline

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Last week an article in Forbes by John T. Harvey made a withering attack on economics teaching.

This ended up being a pretty long piece so, for the “tl;dr” people, here is a quick summary:

We are experiencing deep economic problems and it is the fault of the economics discipline. Their macro theories suck. But, there is no mechanism forcing it to alter its models when they don’t appear to work. This is so because economists basically write for each other in a language only they understand and their jobs depend on impressing a limited number of journal editors and referees, not correcting real-world problems. The academic inbreeding that has resulted has led to dysfunctional theories and, despite the fact that there were economists who accurately forecast the Financial Crisis, because their work is incompatible with what is published in “good” journals it has been all but ignored. Economics is broken and there is no internal incentive to fix it.

I advise everyone to read the article. If you are currently learning economics to challenge the issues facing us, there may be a mammoth amount of work that seems to be need done before we can even work on the real problems at hand.

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