purpose of economists

05Sep09

I am reading an exciting article in the Financial Times on the purpose of economists and their role in predicting the crisis with all its mismatched predictions. David Marsh considers that economists don’t really serve any special purpose, that they’ve come in the same package with modernity and now we just can’t do without them. His article is most wonderfully written in the literary sense and I find great similes that make one smile, were they of the profession or not.

“a continuous carousel of spectacle that helps put the things we don’t know about the world into some sort of warped perspective”

However, Mr. Marsh finds some sort of use for economists in behavioral studies, wraped in a predefined project:

Studying their attributes and affectations has become an advanced branch of behavioural psychology.

Robert Skidelsky considers that the economics profession does not have pretenses beyond other sciences, it is not more special and therefore could not have entirely predicted and foreseeing “the exact risk in the system”.

There are more opinions in a well-written combo of trying to define the purpose of economists. You can read them all here.

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