Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Price Theory Unstudied By Mainstream Economists

This seems hard to credit:
"if current graduate students know anything of price theory, it would have had to have been self-taught, because it is no longer on the curriculum on the 'best' American departments. (Except Chicago where it hangs in by a whisker...)" -- Angus Deaton (2007). "Letter from America - Random Walks by Young Economists", Royal Economic Society Newsletter (April)
Instead, economists study how to statistically analyze intrument variables. (I hope D-Squared will find the reference of interest.)


YouNotSneaky! said...

You + Angus are right on the trend but wrong on the magnitude (well, at least he is).

dd said...

Thanks very much Robert - Heckman's critique is going to be quite a bit chunk of part 5 of the Freakonomics review, as you might suspect.

Deaton also mentions another hobby horse of mine - the encroachment of econometrics into (particularly medical) science is potentially really quite baleful, as a young generation of research doctors are learning all of our bad habits. The cult of the 5% significance level is apparently really gathering strength in British medicine.