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More quotes against economics

from Asad Zaman

A previous post Quotes Critical of Economics collected assorted quotes which are useful in writing up different kinds of critiques of economics. In addition, I collected quotes from Romer’s Trouble With Macro which are sharply critical of economics. In terms of the “Loyalty, Voice, Exit” paradigm, I look for “Exit” quotes, which suggest that we need to throw out the entire discipline and rebuild on new foundations; for a proposed alternative, see “Uloom-ul-Umran: An Islamic alternative to Western Social Science“. I try to avoid “Voice” critiques which suggest that we can rescue economics by making modifications, minor or major. I have been collecting more quotes along these lines for two years. I was hoping to sort them into categories, and organize them via some commentary, but have not found the time to do so. So instead of waiting longer, I am just publishing them as a random and disorganized collection – given below.  read more

  1. pfeffertag
    December 5, 2021 at 2:03 pm

    I see your point about your Exit preference. But overall you are in Voice mode. If you actually favoured Exit you wouldn’t be here. You’d be a poultry farmer or a table tennis player or teaching French. That applies to the authors of your quotes, too.

    In Hirschman’s vision, the firm is in trouble and the personnel can take one of three options: Some do Exit and find a different job or project. That is the mentality of the free-marketeer or libertarian. Some do Voice and complain and make suggestions—possibly radical—as to what might be done. This is the mindset of the left and of the authors of those quotes.

    Some are fatalists. They feel trapped and will go down or survive as the firm collapses or survives. That is what Hirschman named Loyalty; it is the most debated of his three categories.

    Hirschman could have seen a fourth option (but didn’t) which is another kind of Loyalty whereby a bureaucrat tries to sort things out using a combination of Exit and Voice, i.e., by closing some departments (or contracts, or sales lines, etc) and restructuring others. Actually, I can’t see how either version of Loyalty would be relevant to economic theory.

    Your lists of quotes look useful. Thank you for them.

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