The Making of an Objective Economist?
Yesterday I was hooked on a debate/tweet thread that involved Simon Wren Lewis, Beatrice Cherrier, and some other people about using different schools of thought in economics possibly instead of the mainstream. Some for it and some against.
I have read Pluralist Economics and have for a while advocated a changed in the way economics is taught and understood, not just at university, but throughout the entire business and policy making world.
I guess my reasons for this somewhat revolutionary viewpoint has to do with my disdain for the way my undergraduate course was conducted with a strong emphasis on mathematics. While I don’t disagree that maths and graphs etc can make things easier to understand (I nearly always turn to graphs when trying to explain something) I got the sense that there is more to the economy than numbers.
So off I went and followed and read people who had similar viewpoints and I was convinced that the only way forward for economics was for a full overhaul of the subject matter, the methodology, and the focus.
However, as I have come to realise, thanks to the debate I mentioned earlier and Brian Albrecht (who often rains on my parade with reason and sound logic, thank you by the way) that we don’t need to change econ. The mainstream is there and probably there to stay. What we do need to do is build upon its foundations with the use of alternative schools of thought.
Because as I see it, now admittedly, if any of the alternatives were brilliant enough to be the mainstream — they would.
So then as Brian said, if i am interpreting him correctly, we need to think of changes at the margin (one mainstream phrase that will still be around) and make small contributions that enhance and at times possibly replace little bits of the mainstream with theories that we know are more logically sound and encompass more detail about this complex thing we claim to study — the economy and the people within it.