Economics is a science?!
from David Ruccio
The next time some mainstream economist stands up and says “Economics is a science” and, because it is a science, “We know what the effects of implementing this policy are,” just send them to the current debate about the minimum wage.
Catherine Rampell does a good job illustrating the absurdity of the view that economics is a science. There aren’t many topics in economics that have been the focus of as much theoretical modeling and empirical research as the minimum wage. And there simply isn’t any kind of consensus—among mainstream economists, let alone among all economists—about the effects of raising the minimum wage.
In referring to the results of the survey of the members of the IGM Experts Panel, Rampell observes that,
These responses do not necessarily reflect the beliefs of all economists, the way a traditional poll might aim to be; rather, the panelists are among the more elite members of their profession and were selected to represent some of the better-known conservative, liberal, young and old scholars. They include Nobel laureates, John Bates Clark Medal recipients, Econometric Society fellows, past presidents of both the American Economic Association and American Finance Association, past Democratic and Republican members of the President’s Council of Economic Advisers, and editors of leading economic journals.
of those who responded, about a quarter said they were “uncertain” about the proposition. Exactly zero percent said they either agreed or disagreed “strongly.”
So much for the idea that economics is a science!