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In defence of the economists

Our field is not perfect. But the idea that it is so tainted we must "rip it up and start again" isn't just pessimistic—it is based on inaccuracies

By Diane Coyle  

John Hills, Director of the Centre for Analysis of Social Exclusion, London School of Economics and Political Science, gives a lecture on household income at DG EMPL. Photo: Flickr/DG EMPL

Do the “tenets of neoclassicism” shape our day-to-day work as economists, as Howard Reed puts it in his ill-informed diatribe for Prospect? No—they do not.

These are some of the research papers in economics that I’ve read recently. One by Cameron Hepburn, an economist at Oxford, on policies to encourage environmentally-beneficial innovation. A study by other Oxford economists and engineers on…

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