July 2014

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« Does Anyone Think Gas Prices Are Going to Dive? | Main | Varied Reiterations... Lachmann vs. Nozick redux »


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The Post Autistic Economics group is supposed to be keen on pluralism as well but I am not convinced.


It is probably essential to march towards the sound of gunfire but the noise may turn out to be a distraction and not the real battle. A big question is whether the various approaches are really focussed on real problems or whether they represent a desperate grasp at novelties.

The discussion of disciplinary boundaries, imperialism and import/export of ideas appears to be fundamentally misconceived. The pursuit of problems should drive people over disciplinary boundaries - which boundaries in particular will be a function of the problem and the ingenuity of the student, and the company you keep. Dont take lunch with the same people every day. The danger is to put the cart of interdisciplinary research before the horse of problem solving, so committees and courses get set up to satisfy the quest for interdisciplinary work rather than starting with the problems and then deciding what kind of committees and working groups are required (if any).

On mathematical game theory. Almost certainly the wrong model. Start again with more realistic games like cricket and baseball to check out the way that decisions are made in an evolving situation under various constraints, some of which also change over time. Cricket is better because you can play for a draw if a win is out of reach.

The retreat from the history of ideas means that there will be a risk of making old mistakes over again. But methodology and history should not be the domain of specialists, everyone should have some kind of grip on methodology and history without need for courses. Frustration with methodology reflects the failure of the philosophy of economics to get anywhere despite a lot of muttering in the outhouse by the likes of Blaug, Latsis and Hands. Get with the strength and read Larry Boland!

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