quinta-feira, 24 de maio de 2007

I liked that

Uma matéria no Free exchange pareceu-me assaz interessante -- discute a "complexidade" dos estudos em economia atualmente. Selecionei as melhores partes (a meu ver, obviamente). Aqueles que quiserem ler o post completo é só clicar aqui.

I HAVE been mulling today an aphorism, generally attributed to Kenneth Boulding: "Economics has gotten so rigorous we've all got rigor mortis."

As technology and mathematical techniques have evolved, the frontier of economic research has gotten quite technical—so technical, in fact, that it has become inaccessible to the untrained.

Keynes once described what it took to be a great economist:

The study of economics does not seem to require any specialised gifts of an unusually high order. Is it not, intellectually regarded, a very easy subject compared with the higher branches of philosophy and pure science? Yet good, or even competent, economists are the rarest of birds. An easy subject, at which very few excel! The paradox finds its explanation, perhaps, in that the master-economist must possess a rare combination of gifts. He must reach a high standard in several different directions and must combine talents not often found together. He must be mathematician, historian, statesman, philosopher...No part of man's nature or his institutions must lie entirely outside his regard

The best are like those Keynes described: not only good mathematicians, but also creative and insightful thinkers who influence not merely policy decisions, but the direction of human thought.
Yeah! Yeah!