Friday, February 27, 2009

The Poverty of Economic Philosophy

Steve Keen brings to our attention a couple of attacks, based on the ongoing global economic crisis, on mainstream academic economics:
  • A workshop report from David Colander, Hans Föllmer, Armin Haas, Michael Goldberg, Katarina Juselius, Alan Kirman, Thomas Lux, and Brigitte Sloth
  • Anatole Kaletsky's editorial in a newspaper down under, I guess.


Dan said...

I think Kaletsky's attack might have more import if he hadn't been persistently insisting for the last 12 months that there was nothing to worry about and that the crisis was nearly over. It also might have had more import if he hadn't been writing this sort of garbage for years.

I don't doubt that he's broadly right here, but it's just another exercise in squirming.

Robert Vienneau said...

Thanks for the comments. I cannot provide detailed comments on Australian pundits.

Charles Stewart said...

Willem Buiter's The unfortunate uselessness of most ’state of the art’ academic monetary economics, from yesterday's Financial Times commentator weblogs, is pretty sharply barbed.

The lede gives a taste: The Monetary Policy Committee of the Bank of England I was privileged to be a ‘founder’ external member of during the years 1997-2000 contained, like its successor vintages of external and executive members, quite a strong representation of academic economists and other professional economists with serious technical training and backgrounds. This turned out to be a severe handicap when the central bank had to switch gears and change from being an inflation-targeting central bank under conditions of orderly financial markets to a financial stability-oriented central bank under conditions of widespread market illiquidity and funding illiquidity. Indeed, the typical graduate macroeconomics and monetary economics training received at Anglo-American universities during the past 30 years or so, may have set back by decades serious investigations of aggregate economic behaviour and economic policy-relevant understanding. It was a privately and socially costly waste of time and other resources.

Robert Vienneau said...

Thanks for the link, Charles. It seems to me Buiter is recommending something like Post Keynesianism. Of course, somebody like George Akerlof could say this is a recommendation for his approach to macroeconomics too.