SocraticGadfly: Let's just overbash behavioral economics

July 15, 2010

Let's just overbash behavioral economics

Neoclassical economists, especially theoreticians rather than empiricists, have very little room to stand to criticize alleged excesses and wrongs of behavioral economics.

At least behavioral economics is experimental, investigative and non-Platonic. Neoclassical economics is all but three of those things.

That said, the two column authors do have a nugget or to, such as this:
Behavioral economics should complement, not substitute for, more substantive economic interventions.
I partially agree. Until traditional economics can be more empirical, more verifiable and less Theory-of-Everything driven, at the least, behavioral-driven economic thinking needs to come more and more to the fore.

Surprisingly, Peter Ubel, a coauthor of the column, has a book titled, “Free Market Madness: Why Human Nature Is at Odds With Economics.” And, George Loewenstein has done solid work in behavioral econoics, per his Wiki page.

The column was wrongly written. Not all behavioral economists make the claims that Cass Sunstein does. (He is ultimately the clear target of the column.) So, why not say so?

It decreases the pair's claim to intellectual rigor to paint with what are clearly broad, and unnecessarily broad, brush strokes.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

A liar is not believed when he speaks the truth...................................................................