Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Look at those, Sancho Panza!

"When the Giving Is Good: Saving Christmas from the economists"

Harvey Mansfield:

"The sovereignty of individual preferences also helps economics by freeing it from having to understand human nature. Economists can make mathematical models of behavior without considering whether their mathematics describes actual human beings accurately. Economics, no longer confined to a particular subject--namely, money--can expand into other fields such as psychology, sociology, and political science."

(via Arts & Letters Daily)

"Possible Side Effects"

David Leonhardt:

"This problem plagues many of the new economic imperialists: [...] they don’t get out enough. They are asking good questions about epidemiology and psychology, but they are not spending much time with epidemiologists and psychologists, let alone with the people who are the subjects of their academic research. As a result, they arrive at conclusions that can be clever but lack wisdom..."

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