Re: [OPE-L] Is this an example of the "new pluralism" in economics?

From: Gerald_A_Levy@MSN.COM
Date: Sat Mar 12 2005 - 04:59:18 EST

----- Original Message ----- 
From: Geoffrey Hodgson 
Sent: Saturday, March 12, 2005 4:43 AM
Subject: Re: [OPE-L] Is this an example of the "new pluralism" in economics?

Dear Gerry

I didn't say that pluralism existed in the academy. I simply distinguished between the (desirable outcome of) pluralism in the academy and the (unacceptable notion of) pluralism in a single head. See the Salanti and Screpanti book for details.

Best wishes

At 14:41 11/03/2005, you wrote:

  > Several of the contributors in the collection (including myself) 
  > distinguish between pluralism in the academy and (mistaken) 
  > pluralism in the ideas of a single person.
  Fine. But, that doesn't mean that there is a "new pluralism" in
  any meaningful sense of the term within the profession. If one
  doesn't want to talk about anecdotes concerning the ideas of
  prominent individuals in the profession then one would need some
  comprehensive survey of economists on the subject of 
  pluralism.  Where is that survey, and if it exists, who was 
  surveyed and what questions were asked?  More to the point --
  if there has been some shift to pluralism in any meaningful sense
  of the term then there should be lots of evidence indicating that
  economists uphold the _principle_ of pluralism _in practice_ by
  hiring, promoting, and publishing the perspectives of heterodox
  economists.  I don't see that evidence -- rather, I see lots of
  evidence of a continuing project by the marginalists to 
  push their ideological hegemony using all means at their
  disposal.  What _may_ be a change is that some prominent
  _individuals_ in the profession may be more willing to discuss 
  certain behavioral and other assumptions long accepted by
  most marginalists and to accept that economists who use 
  their own favored quantitative techniques could be treated
  as colleagues even if they are heterodox.  But, to
  suggest that there is a "new pluralism"  simply because economists 
  from many different theoretical perspectives see uses for game theory, 
  non-linear analysis,  adaptive expectations,  etc. and non-conventional 
  assumptions (e.g. imperfect information)  gives a misleading 
  and one-sided perspective of what pluralism is. 
  Without an acceptance _in practice_ that heterodox economists 
  and their perspectives should be treated with respect then any
  judgment that there is a "new pluralism" is, at best, premature.
  If there is a new pluralism, show me the beef.
  In solidarity, Jerry

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