Tag Archives: Sociology of economics

Robert Heilbroner: “The prestige accorded to mathematics in economics has given it rigor, but, alas, also mortis”

“Economics is not a scientific discipline like the natural sciences, and that no cumulative advance describes its changeful form over the years… The chapter we call modern economics, compared with earlier chapters of our discipline, is shallow and poor rather … Continue reading

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Who is an economist? Here is Keynes’ answer

In 1924 John Maynard Keynes wrote an obituary essay for a prominent economist Alfred Marshall, one of the founders of the English neoclassical economics and Keynes’ former tutor and academic patron. In this fascinating piece of work Keynes astoundingly mulls over Marshall’s scholarship and intellectual life. Joseph Schumpeter, in his eulogy of … Continue reading

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On economists, sociologists and evil – an anecdote :-) and an insight from Paul Krugman

Professor Paul Krugman: “When I went to graduate school, I took international trade from Jagdish Bhagwati who explained to his class his personal theory of reincarnation which was that if you are a good economist, the virtuous economist, you are … Continue reading

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Why historians have ceded authority to economists as reliable and competent policy advisors?

As of the 19th century historians have advised policy-makers. Then, about fifty years ago, economists took their place. Why did it happen and what can be learned from it? During the last 10-15 years, Economic Sociologists have contributed excellent and … Continue reading

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Why the Federal Reserve Failed to See the Financial Crisis of 2008: The Role of “Macroeconomics” as a Sensemaking and Cultural Frame

In this very interesting and enlightening paper by Neil Fligstein, Jonah Stuart Brundage & Michael Schultz (University of California, Berkeley), they tackle one of the puzzles about the crisis of 2008: why the regulators were so slow to recognize the … Continue reading

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“Economics graduate programs may be turning out a generation with too many idiot savants skilled in technique but innocent of real economic issues.”

A sentence adorning the title of this post was one of the conclusions of the American Economic Association’s Commission on Graduate Education in Economics, formed in 1991, chaired by Anne Krueger and included Kenneth Arrow, Robert Lucas, Joseph Stiglitz, Lawrence … Continue reading

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Economists and the Powerful: Convenient Theories, Distorted Facts, Ample Rewards

This book provides an excellent and important account of the mechanics of capitalism, and demonstrates how different groups and elites consistently further their own economic interests at the expense of others. (Free access to the introduction). Journeys into intellectual and economic … Continue reading

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Should We Trust Economists? Are they charlatans, to be scorned as medieval cranks? – deliberates professor of finance Noah Smith

“To start, we need to talk briefly about what it is economic theorists do. Essentially, they make models, which are mathematical tools that are supposed to describe how the economy functions. The problem is that economists haven’t really built a … Continue reading

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‘Free markets’ as a religious belief

Joseph Stiglitz: “The advocates of free markets in all their versions say that crises are rare events, though they have been happening with increasing frequency as we change the rules to reflect beliefs in perfect markets. I would argue that … Continue reading

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‪‎Economics‬ Students of the World, Unite! ‪‎Students‬ from 19 countries call for change in the way the discipline is taught

The International Student Initiative for Pluralist Economics, which brings together 42 groups of economics students spread across four continents, is the first global protest against mainstream economic teaching. In the open letter they write: “It is not only the world economy … Continue reading

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