Tuesday, January 06, 2009

The Economist on Economists

The Economist picks 8 young economists and concludes with this meaty little body of text:
Economics is now defined neither by its subject matter nor by its method.

What, then, unites these eight young stars and the discipline they may come to dominate? Economists still share a taste for the Greek alphabet: they like to provide formal, algebraic accounts of the behaviour they explain. And they pride themselves on the sophistication of their investigative methods. They are usually better at teasing confessions out of data than their rivals in other social sciences. What defines economics? Economics is what economists do—the best of them, anyway.
Is this a pro or con?


ann said...

I've not laughed at economists that hard in a long time, but I can't tell if it is because it is really funny or the despair creeping in...

Jeff said...

Pro or con? Who can say?

All I know is that this is *not* why I want to be an economist.