Economic theory: how to rebuild a newly shamed subject

Een interessant stuk uit de FT, dat goed is voor de discussie.
Piet Moerman

by Robert Skidelsky December 14 2009 23:24

It was to be expected that our present economic traumas would call into question the state of economics. “Why did no one see the crisis coming?”, Queen Elizabeth reportedly asked one practitioner. A seminar at the British Academy tried to answer and the FT has taken up the discussion.
The Queen’s question is understandable. Ever since modern economics started in the 18th century it has presented itself as a predictive discipline, akin to a natural science. Since the future a year ago included the present slump, it is natural that the failure of the economics profession – with a few exceptions – to foresee the coming collapse should have discredited its scientific pretensions. Economics is revealed to have no more clothes than other social science. One cannot imagine the Queen next year asking a leading political scientist: “Why did no one tell me that Labour was going to win the election?” She would understand that this was not a prediction that any political scientist could make with conviction.
This article can be found at the Financial Times.
Copyright The Financial Times Ltd 2009

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