Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Daddy, should I become an economist?

Brad DeLong suggests the answer should be no. Citing Larry Summers' recent comments at the Bretton Woods Mark II conference, DeLong says

perhaps academic economics departments will lose mindshare and influence to others – from business schools and public-policy programs to political science, psychology, and sociology departments. As university chancellors and students demand relevance and utility, perhaps these colleagues will take over teaching how the economy works and leave academic economists in a rump discipline that merely teaches the theory of logical choice.

Hear hear to that. But of course the danger is that political science, which is hurtling towards the same mistakes economics has made, could be making itself just as incapable of making sense of the political economy. And we don't even have the brand recognition.