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

From: Gerald_A_Levy@MSN.COM
Date: Fri Mar 11 2005 - 09:41:39 EST

> 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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