Home > Uncategorized > Chicago economics — where do we unload the garbage?

Chicago economics — where do we unload the garbage?

from Lars Syll

chicagotrashThere is also a practical problem, if economics as a discipline is to survive. There is a huge amount of junk in the peer-reviewed economics literature -– the reviewing process is no protection when the reviewers themselves are prejudiced. A comparison that comes to mind is the collapse of “scientific” eugenics. There were vast amounts of that written, and now it is only read as an object example of the capture of a social science by prejudice and authoritarianism. For economists, meantime, there is a huge task ahead: the garbage must be taken out; removed from the field’s teaching, textbooks, and policy advice. It will be a generation at least before this is set right, if indeed it can be set right at all.

Advice Unask

  1. February 3, 2020 at 1:07 am

    This is a good insight – the whole field needs to scrapped, like eugenics. However, this is NOT a task which will be done by economists — it must be done by outsiders. This means that the dynamics must be different. I would like to learn more about eugenics – it was quite prestigious and nearly universally accepted at one point in time. How was that eventually trashed and put in the dustbins of history?

    • Meta Capitalism
      February 3, 2020 at 2:03 am

      I would like to learn more about eugenics – it was quite prestigious and nearly universally accepted at one point in time. How was that eventually trashed and put in the dustbins of history? ~ Asad Zaman

      .
      The history of eugenics is well documented. It is closely related to the history of Darwinian theory and its popular misinterpretation in Western culture. Some of the early leaders and founders of the field of the field of economics and econometrics were believers in eugenics.
      .
      The following works are informative:
      .
      1. Genetic explanations : sense and nonsense, edited by Sheldon Krimsky and Jeremy Gruber. (Harvard University Press.)
      .
      2. Biology and Ideology from Descartes to Dawkins, edited by Denis R. Alexander and Ronald L. Numbers.
      .
      3. The end of the soul : scientific modernity, atheism, and anthropology in France, by Jennifer Michael Hecht. Columbia University Press.
      .
      4. Illiberal reformers : race, eugenics, and American economics in the Progressive era, by Thomas C. Leonard. Princeton University Press.
      .
      5. Fortune Tellers : The Story of America’s First Economic Forecasters, by Friedman, Walter A.. Princeton University Press.

    • Frank Salter
      February 3, 2020 at 2:26 pm

      Asad, I have explained repeatedly why the “whole field” can simply be scrapped. It fails the tests of the quantity calculus and dimensional analysis. Therefore it is categorically wrong. It would be a good idea if you make the effort to understand the quantity calculus. A much more informed discussion would then be possible. It really is in your own hands.

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