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So, what is neoclassical economics (and what is not)?

03/04/2012

In recent days, an unwholesome spat has erupted between progressive economists (e.g. Mark Thoma and Steve Keen, with some prior involvement by Paul Krugman) which, curiously, ended up revolving  around the question of what is neoclassical economics, who can be classified as a neoclassical economist etc. I must state it for the record that such a debate, especially when it escapes the confines of our silly academic games (and infects a public eager for serious policy debates and buffeted by the trials and tribulations of actual barbaric policies), is counter-productive. We should be debating ideas and desisting name-calling, label-wielding and boyish games whose objective is mutual belittlement. But since this one has escaped into the public domain, here is my bob’s worth on what constitutes neoclassical economics. Be warned: this is an academic article. But it is the best I can do to throw light on what neoclassical economics is.  The first section provides a definition of neoclassical economics. Later sections offer an account of how this most peculiar scientific failure has managed to draw enormous power out of its… failure.

Click here for the paper:  Neoclassical Economics (as a most peculiar failure)

PS. This paper will soon appear as the introductory chapter to my new book (to be published by Routledge) entitled ECONOMIC INDETERMINACY: A personal encounter with the economists’ most peculiar nemesis

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