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« The Wisdom of Our Fathers | Main | Mathematical Economics as an Aid to Economic Thought »

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Did you see this post by Dani Roderik?

"if you are smart enough to be a Nobel-prize winning economist maybe you can do without the math, but the rest of us mere mortals cannot. We need the math to make sure that we think straight--to ensure that our conclusions follow from our premises and that we haven't left loose ends hanging in our argument.

In other words, we use math not because we are smart, but because we are not smart enough.

We are just smart enough to recognize that we are not smart enough. And this recognition, I tell our students, will set them apart from a lot of people out there with very strong opinions about what to do about poverty and underdevelopment."

PS -- you should allow html in your comments.

There may be feedback effects here - if HET and EH get excluded from "economics," and that matters for tenure and promotion and other decisions, won't it even further eviscerate the study of those two areas in graduate programs? If "those who make such distinctions" want to exclude those subfields, it will matter a great deal.

I certainly agree with your overall point here Pete, but I don't think it's a silly debate. Given the various institutional structures in place, where EH and HET get "placed" has real impact.

Steve,

I agree with you. I was being unclear. I side with the "y" crowd and deplore the argument and tactics of the "ics" crowd. I was calling the "ics" crowd silly. I agree this battle is worth fighting --- with sustain efforts, with reasonable agression, and with ridicule.

Pete

I agree on the issue, but the lobbying effort is a bit heavy-handed. David turns out to be a nice bloke, trying to do a tricky job. I wouldn't be surprised if personalising and politicising it becomes counter-productive.

Dr Boettke,

I was reading a response to another post on math in econ by Rodrik by Dr. Cowen.

Dr. Cowen mentions Rodrik's new book with an Amazon link. The book description says the following:

To most proglobalizers, globalization is a source of economic salvation for developing nations, and to fully benefit from it nations must follow a universal set of rules designed by organizations such as the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund, and the World Trade Organization and enforced by international investors and capital markets.

Am I being simplistic here? I never considered those supra-national institutions like the WTO and IMF to be integral to globalization. Am I wrong here?

The problem with the reclassification is that it would separate economic history from economics for purposes of funding and in other respects (salaries?).

It is not a 'y' vs. 'ics' thing.

In Australia university funding is very centralised and this is no small problem.

The problem with the reclassification is that it would separate economic history from economics for purposes of funding and in other respects (salaries?).

It is not a 'y' vs. 'ics' thing.

In Australia university funding is very centralised and this is no small problem.

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