Wednesday, December 15, 2021

Economics as a community — Andrew Gelman

 One factor in the economics community hanging together on the normal paradigm is the assumption that economics is a natural science like physics rather than a life science or a social science?

Another factor may be group think?

There may be many other factors, too, but these come to mind.

Statistical Modeling, Causal Inference, and Social Science
Economics as a community
Andrew Gelman | Professor of Statistics and Political Science and Director of the Applied Statistics Center, Columbia University


Peter Pan said...

Richi Sunak knows which side of the bread is buttered, in this community.

Ahmed Fares said...

One of the first things I learned in economics:

“Economics is haunted by more fallacies than any other study known to man. This is no accident. The inherent difficulties of the subject would be great enough in any case, but they are multiplied a thousandfold by a factor that is insignificant in, say, physics, mathematics or medicine - the special pleading of selfish interests. While every group has certain economic interests identical with those of all groups, every group has also, as we shall see, interests antagonistic to those of all other groups. While certain public policies would in the long run benefit everybody, other policies would benefit one group only at the expense of all other groups. The group that would benefit by such policies, having such a direct interest in them, will argue for them plausibly and persistently. It will hire the best buyable minds to devote their whole time to presenting its case. And it will finally either convince the general public that its case is sound, or so befuddle it that clear thinking on the subject becomes next to impossible.

In addition to these endless pleadings of self-interest, there is a second main factor that spawns new economic fallacies every day. This is the persistent tendency of man to see only the immediate effects of a given policy, or its effects only on a special group, and to neglect to inquire what the long-run effects of that policy will be not only on that special group but on all groups. It is the fallacy of overlooking secondary consequences.”

— Henry Hazlitt, Economics in One Lesson: The Shortest & Surest Way to Understand Basic Economics

NeilW said...

The factor is that economics is really a political lobby group embedded in academia to give it the cache required to influence politicians.

It's more like a religion than science.

A more appropriate comparison would be economics with public health, or perhaps information security. All of those use the same pseudo-scientific tricks to advance their agendas.

Matt Franko said...

It’s typically taught through the dialogic method…

“Group think” is just a figure of speech which represents a literal human cohort that is in agreement with the same thesis…