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Goodbye, homo economicus

The economics profession must bear a lot of the blame for the current crisis. If it is to become useful again it must undergo an intellectual revolution—becoming both broader and more modest

By Anatole Kaletsky   April 2009

Was Adam Smith an economist? Was Keynes, Ricardo or Schumpeter? By the standards of today’s academic economists, the answer is no. Smith, Ricardo and Keynes produced no mathematical models. Their work lacked the “analytical rigour” and precise deductive logic demanded by modern economics. And none of them ever produced an econometric forecast (although Keynes and Schumpeter were able mathematicians). If any of these giants of economics applied for a university job today, they would be rejected. As for their written work, it would not have a chance of acceptance in the Economic Journal or American Economic Review. The editors, if…

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