Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Newsflash: New York Times Not Last Word On Technical Debates

The Times had an article today on heterodox economics. Some commentators do not seem to understand this sort of popularization isn't likely to be great at conveying what the argument is about. Others have more of a clue. My suggestion is that if you want to know what Fred Lee has to say about heterodox economics, read his publications on the topic.

Update (12 July): Mainstream Harvard economists comment. Naturally, none of these three comment on:
  • How Amherst economics acquired that tendency (mentioned in the Times’ article)
  • Why Harvard won’t allow Marglin to teach a section of the intro course
  • Feldstein’s refusal to modify his views on Social Security after finding his “empirical” results came from a computer programming error
  • How the thief Andrei Shleifer manages to still be a Harvard economist in good standing
By the way, Patricia Cohen, the Times reporter, explicitly says (correctly) that Blinder, Card, and Rodrik are not heterodox economists. I would think the Leontief paradox, when it comes to international trade, is empirical data.

Elsewhere, Max Sawicky points out that he does not develop heterodox economic theory.

I continue to think that you cannot offer a substantial critique of heterodox economics based on what is said about it in this New York Times article.

6 comments:

YouNotSneaky! said...

What's there to understand? The article is nonsense.

Gabriel said...

Robert, I would believe you, but then I remember your expressed views on Mankiw's "popularization" work.

Gabriel said...

>> "I continue to think that you cannot offer a substantial critique of heterodox economics based on what is said about it in this New York Times article."

Funny, I thought that the article was meant as a (substation or not) critique of orthodox economics.

There's a "a few lone heroes, willing to face an Evil Empire" rhetoric going on... and the problem people have with this is being called evil and misrepresented.

YouNotSneaky! said...

No one's critiquing heterodox economics (not yet at least), just the article itself.

walt said...

I'll start. Heterodox economics once shot a man in Reno to watch him die.

YouNotSneaky! said...

Not to mention that heterodox economics is its own granpa.