Monday, September 20, 2010

Stiglitz lecture in Zurich

Perhaps as many as 800 people attended this Monday morning lecture by the Nobel Laureate - which is a bit of a cultural revolution for Zurich - as far as I am aware, this is the first time that a major lecture has ever been scheduled on a Momday at 8.15 a.m.!

Apart from the inadequacy of the facilities (the slides were apparently very difficult to see for people at the back) it went well and the hall was almost completely full

Stiglitz said more or less what one expects him to say, given his publications and other public speeches, but what struck me once again was the entire irrelevance of whatever little is "scientific and mathematical" (or even of the small consensus among economists) to the discussions and decisions of the people who matter in real-life economics - i.e. lawmakers, regulators and central bankers

This is an "irrationality" that economics, which has tried very hard to be more and more "rational" and "mathematical", has no explanation for - and no means of taking into account!

As long as that continues to be the situation, will the whole enterprise of a "mathematical and rationalistic" economics not be itself irrelevant and doomed to failure? Sphere: Related Content

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