Mike the Mad Biologist weighs in on a debate Brad Delong has been curating, about the status of economics as a science. Noting that examples from biology are being introduced as comparisons for economics, Mike writes:

It really does matter: if economists are going to use biology as a model for their discipline, we need them to understand ours, to help improve theirs. But I’m getting ahead of myself.

Upon which, he administers a firm but gentle smackdown to Russ Roberts. Read it, enjoy it.

Comments

  1. #1 Ender
    March 22, 2011

    “It really does matter: if economists are going to use biology as a model for their discipline…”

    Then it’ll be a damn sight better than when they were trying to ape Physics. As far as economics is a science, or has the potential to be one, it far more resembles biology.

  2. #2 Riman Butterbur
    March 22, 2011

    U agree with the ecological/evolutionary analogies to economics and other cultural institutions. But these studies must necessarily be less exact than biology because of the smaller sample sizes and the difficulty of verifying hypotheses with controled experiments.

  3. #3 Marion Delgado
    March 22, 2011

    The funny part is, I think Marx’s grounds for disdain for Mill, Sayes and Bastiat (all 3 by name, in Kapital) still pretty much apply – that they stand out only because there are still so many much worse economic thinkers out there.

    I think the so-called post-autistic economics movement is the first sign of life and consciousness in economics I’ve seen in my lifetime.

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