Home > Uncategorized > Mäki Rules on Rodrik’s Rules

Mäki Rules on Rodrik’s Rules

from Asad Zaman

Mäki, Uskali. “Rights and wrongs of economic modelling: refining Rodrik.” Journal of Economic Methodology 25.3 (2018): 218-236.

Introduction: I must confess to having admired Dani Rodrik. His research was iconoclastic, fearlessly going after many sacred cows of economics. So, I was saddened and disappointed by his defense of Economics: Rodrik, Dani (2015) Economics Rules. Why Economics Works, When It Fails, and How to Tell the Difference. Oxford UP. Rodrik uses “rules” in a dual sense; a set of rules to discriminate between good and bad economics, as well as an assertion of the superiority of economics. This post is a fairly longish 2100 word summary of the first half of  Mäki’s trenchant critique the book, linked above. If I find the time and energy, I might do the second half later. However, this should suffice to save the reader the pain of reading Rodrik’s incoherent and conflicted defense of the indefensible. In my post title, I also use rules in two senses — as a verdict, and as a judgment of Mäki’s sophistication relative to Rodrik’s naivete.

Uskali Mäki is truly a gentleman and a scholar – his devastating put-down of Rodrik reads like a loving uncle gently correcting an errant child. There are powerful arguments, but no sound-bites. This post provides a summary of Mäki’s critique.  read more

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