What I’ve been thinking for some time. Economics, particularly the mainstream analyses, has lost it’s way. The failures of the current crisis point out failures of economic advice and policy making. Those policies were based on models & theories that have a flawed methodology. The “positivist” methodology of economics and it’s accompanying physics envy dating from the mid-2oth century has led us astray.
Assumptions do matter and the realism of those assumptions matters, too. Highly recommend reading:
“The Financial crisis and systemic failure of economics” – Mark Thoma.
The Financial Crisis and the Systemic Failure of Academic Economics, by David Colander, Hans Föllmer, Armin Haas, Michael Goldberg, Katarina Juselius, Alan Kirman, and Thomas Lux: [From the conclusion] …”We believe that economics has been trapped in a sub-optimal equilibrium in which much of its research efforts are not directed towards the most prevalent needs of society. Paradoxically self-reinforcing feedback effects within the profession may have led to the dominance of a paradigm that has no solid methodological basis and whose empirical performance is, to say the least, modest. Defining away the most prevalent economic problems of modern economies and failing to communicate the limitations and assumptions of its popular models, the economics profession bears some responsibility for the current crisis. It has failed in its duty to society to provide as much insight as possible into the workings of the economy and in providing warnings about the tools it created. It has also been reluctant to emphasize the limitations of its analysis. We believe that the failure to even envisage the current problems of the worldwide financial system and the inability of standard macro and finance models to provide any insight into ongoing events make a strong case for a major reorientation in these areas and a reconsideration of their basic premises.”