From: Martin Kragh (Martin.Kragh@HHS.SE)
Date: Tue Feb 05 2008 - 11:57:59 EST
Maybe your disagreement concerning “bourgeois economics” could be settled under the always problematic political element in economic analysis (Myrdal). In the Swedish context the controversy launched by Walter Korpi in The Economic Journal (Vol. 106, Nº 439) against Assar Lindbeck and the alleged biased Eurosclerosis’ thesis, could explain what is happening in virtually any leading economic school. Maybe the problem is not bourgeois economics but “mainstream economics” and the lack of methodological and doctrinal pluralism it supports.
Consider the following quotation of Mark Blaug:
«Whatever we may say against technique-ridden, mathematically expressed modelling of economic phenomena, the fact remains that papers written in this form are easier to produce once the formula has been learned, and easier to appraise and referee than those written in words and diagrams. With 500 journals publishing quarterly, something like 10,000 papers in economics are published every year, which are refereed by perhaps 200-300 academics at the top American universities, whose students will become the referees of papers in the next generation, papers which will of course look very much like the papers they are now themselves writing and publishing. In other words, we have created a veritable professional locomotive with a built-in momentum that feeds continually on the pressure to publish in prestigious journals in order to gain employment in prestigious institutions whose annual salaries are more or less twice those that are earned in academic “Siberia.” To turn this locomotive around is to ask individuals at the beginning of their professional career to ignore the dominant fashion for economics papers and instead to write something unfashionable, like George Akerlof’s “Market for ‘Lemons’” (a paper that was turned down three times and took four years to finally reach publication), or like Ronald Coase’s “Theory of the Firm,” a paper totally neglected by the profession for a least two decades. Can we really believe that that is likely to happen on a scale significant enough to tip the balance?» (pp. 7. Mark Blaug, “Ugly Currents in Modern Economics”, Policy Options, September, 1997)
Kind regards,Alejandro Agafonow
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