Saturday, December 11, 2010

Economics and Groupthink

Arnold Kling has a very interesting and somewhat sad post on how he did not ever get tenure track position in an academic economics department because his research was not on the latest fad in macroeconomics, namely "rational expectations."

This is really pathetic. And I will say it. The academics who perpetuated and enforced this sort of conformity in thinking in their hiring practices were simply anti-intellectual. We don't want everyone doing research on the same theory. We want intellectual diversity and we want people who sharply question the latest academic fads. Insight into the truth is not fostered by groupthink... Far from it.

No wonder Paul Krugman argues in an excellent article that macroeconomics went through a "dark age." Imagine how much farther we might be in having some actual insight about how to more quickly get out our current economic mess had progress in the field of macroeconomics not been so stymied by these fads and groupthink.

Something has to change.

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