Is Economics A 'Dismal Science'?

Is economics is the most scientific of the social sciences? Perhaps, but economists today are still grappling with basic questions. The rest of the social sciences -- such as planning -- are even worse off.
April 10, 2006, 1pm PDT | Chris Steins | @urbaninsight
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"Economists take pride in the sophisticated statistical techniques on which they rely to analyze phenomena such as growth, inflation, unemployment, trade, and even the long-term effects of abortion on crime rates. Many are convinced that their methods are more rigorous than those of all other social sciences and dismiss research that does not rest on quantitative methods as little more than 'storytelling' or, worse, 'glorified journalism.' Anthropologists, some economists jest, believe that the plural of anecdote is 'data.'

...A survey published in the Journal of Economic Perspectives found that 77 percent of the doctoral candidates in the leading departments in the United States believe that “economics is the most scientific of the social sciences.” It turns out, however, that this certitude does not stem from how well they regard their own discipline but rather from their contempt for the other social sciences."

Thanks to Hugh Pavletich

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Published on Saturday, April 8, 2006 in Foreign Policy
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