Archive for November 4, 2019

Wandering E-con-omists:  The Travels And Travails Of E-con-omic Sciences (November 4, 2019)

Posted in Economics, Economics Nobel, Noble Prize in Eco-nomics on November 4, 2019 by e-commentary.org

. . .

K          “For decades, the econ. boys have had their own fraternity house/crash pad/temple and a separate department in academia to give them street cred. and street money.  The peripatetic ghost was harbored first in the Department of Religion / Department of Mathematics and then floated to the Department of Psychology and is now decamped in the current haunt in the Department of Computer Science.”

J          “The great journey from the Monetarists/Mathematicians/Religionists to the Behaviorists to the Coders.  They will be giddy to see the word ‘Science’ on the plaque outside their current hang out.  The great anxiety and anguish for e-con-omists is that the few thinking folks do not regard it as a science.  And the reason the few thinking folks do not regard it as a science is because it is not a science.”

K          “Where will they wander next?  The Department of Astrology?”

J          “The Swedish central bank award for ‘E-con-omic Sciences’ nourishes their delusion and assuages their angst.”

. . .

J          “During the formal religious phase, the Monetarists/Religionists assumed what they proclaimed is an indisputable assumption:  ‘God exists’ and then jumped to the conclusion:  ‘God exists’.  The shamans and the shills collected considerable mammon and lucre for spreading the gospel that the rich and powerful must be rewarded at all costs.  If anyone doubted the conclusion, they dismissed the cavil and reiterated that it followed logically and inevitably from their indisputable assumption.”

K          “They like tautologies.  God is Mammon; Mammon is God.  Their gospel claimed to be air tight, but it lacks any real air.”

J          “It is hot air.  But their God sure made buckets and boat loads of money for those on the inside and spewed a few shillings for those who did their shilling.”

. . .

K          “During their interregnum in the Department of Psychology, at least the Behaviorists claimed to gander at how folks behave en route to positing how folks behave.”

. . .

K          “Now they are into randomized controlled trials (RCTs) that purport to explain and predict behavior.  Testing just like the doctors.”

J          “The real doctors have the Hippocratic Oath and the e-con-omics shamans and charlatans now have their precious computer code.  And they can allay their anxieties because it is after all . . . science!”

K          “But you cannot replicate the studies.  So it is not real science!”

J          “Don’t hurt their feelings.  Don’t undermine their self-esteem.”

. . .

K          “Full circle or moving forward?”

J          “Sideways or backwards?”

. . .

[See “New Nobel Winners Are Latest Bad Sign for Economic Theory” in “Mises Wire” by Peter G. Klein dated October 15, 2019, “Impoverished economics?  Unpacking the economics Nobel Prize” in “Open Democracy” by Ingrid Harvold Kvangraven dated October 18, 2019 reprinted with commentary by Yves Smith in “Naked Capitalism” dated October 18, 2019 and “What randomisation can and cannot do: The 2019 Nobel Prize” in “VoxEU” by Kevin Bryan dated October 29, 2019 reprinted with commentary by Yves Smith in “Naked Capitalism” dated November 2, 2019.]

[See the e-commentary under the Categories “Economics”, “Economics Nobel” and “Noble Prize in Eco-nomics”.]

Bumper stickers of the week:

Economics:   If I have to explain, you wouldn’t understand.  With a nod to Oscar Wilde

Not all who wander are lost, but some are