The Recent Critique of Theoretical Economics: A Methodologically Informed Investigation
Journal of Economic Issues, vol. 50, No. 1, pp. 269-287, 2016
Posted: 11 Apr 2016
Date Written: April 6, 2016
My purpose is to appraise the recent critique of theoretical economics by applying the methodological perspective. Therefore, I start by identifying the main lines of criticism raised against theoretical economics in the aftermath of the post-2008 global economic crisis: namely, the voices criticizing economics for its unrealistic models, excessive mathematization, and overconfidence in its theoretical claims. First, I show that these issues are interconnected and should be jointly analyzed. Next, I investigate these lines of critique from the perspective provided by the latest achievements in the philosophy of economics (e.g., studies on the epistemic role of economic models). Taking this perspective reinforces some allegations against economics (e.g., these voices accusing economists of treating economic laws as universal laws of nature) and makes some criticisms more nuanced (e.g., the issue of unrealistic assumptions). I conclude by stating that such a methodological perspective is necessary in critically apprising the recent critique of economics.
Keywords: critique of economics, economic crisis, mathematization of economics, methodology of economics, models and laws in economics
JEL Classification: A11, A12, B40
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation