[This longish essay was just published at Real World Economics Review Blog. It is addressed to the “heterodox” community, those diverse economists of various schools that are not the dominant neoclassical school, though otherwise it is not particularly technical.]
Much of the current discussion of reforming economics focusses on the need for pluralism, particularly in teaching curricula, and very recently again on RWER. Pluralist teaching is seen as challenging, because heterodox economic ideas are diverse, have little coherence, and are to a significant extent mutually incompatible.
This theme crops up frequently in discussions on RWER. Now Cameron Murray, in the first issue of Inside, published by the Institute for Dynamic Economic Analysis, proposes to identify over-arching themes that can bring out the relationships among the various approaches. This is commendable but it will not, on its own, result in a reformed economics.
Sack the Economists will be launched by Professor Steve Keen, author of Debunking Economics and winner of the Revere Award for his clear warnings of the approaching Global Financial Crisis.
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[This is a more technical post, addressed to those interested in re-making the field of economics into something relevant, informed and capable of self-improvement.]
Debates about whether economics is or can ever be a science appear frequently on the Real World Economics blog, such as making economics a relevant science. Perhaps more in the subsequent comments than in the articles themselves, there are some recurring confusions and misconceptions, such as whether mathematics should be involved, about what the role of mathematics might be, about “prediction” as a necessary part of a science, about the role of assumptions and approximations, about whether any study involving people can ever be a science and, fundamentally, about what science really is.
I have commented in passing on this topic before, for example here, but in this comment I’d like to offer a more focussed discussion.
Print-on-demand hardcopies of Sack the Economists can now be ordered from CreateSpace and Amazon.com.
More sources of both ebook and hardcopy versions will be added soon, including the UK and Australia.
Also the ebook will be available in formats other than Kindle – so any reader will work.
Go to Sack the Economists for more information and all purchase options.
There is no sound basis at all, in economic theory or in practice, for expecting free markets to be beneficial, or harmful for that matter.
We should manage the economy the way we manage life, and always be aware that the best-laid plans might go awry.
More in my article in The Age today.
An article on the Real World Economics Review blog:
Non-mainstream economists are all-too aware of the failure of mainstream economists to anticipate, let alone avoid, the Global Financial Crisis and the ensuing Great Recession. The mainstream profession is also failing to fix the problem, and is actually making it worse.
It is hard to get alternative views heard, and the mainstream carries on almost totally unperturbed, despite being centrally responsible for a global disaster. This is of course extremely frustrating.
After reading yet another cri de coeur from yet another frustrated economist, I thought perhaps we need to spell out the message in all bluntness
– continue reading
Steve Keen has posted a guest post on his popular Debtwatch website.
Readers of this blog will have encountered the idea that near-equilibrium neoclassical economic theory is irrelevant to dynamic, far-from-equilibrium, real modern economies, and that the body of theory built around the neoclassical assumptions is full of inconsistencies. You will also be familiar with the idea that money and debt play central, dynamic roles in modern economies.
Yet it can be argued there are other equally fundamental flaws in the broader stream of theory and practice that might be called mainstream economics.
– See more at: http://www.debtdeflation.com/blogs/2013/12/07/sack-the-economists/#sthash.oWYTzwRS.dpuf