What's Wrong with Contemporary Economics?

Revista de Economía Institucional, Vol. 9, No. 16, 2007

28 Pages Posted: 26 Jun 2007


In educating economists, we should sacrifice some of the more technical aspects of economics (which can be learned later), in favour of the compulsory inclusion of philosophy, political science, and economic history. Three reasons for these interdisciplinary studies are given here. In the discussion of the place of mathematics in economics, fuzziness enters when symbols a, b, c are identified with individuals, firms, or farms. The identification of the clear cut symbol with the often ambiguous and fuzzy reality invites lack of precision and blurs the concepts. If the social sciences, including economics, are regarded as a "soft" technology compared with the "hard" technology of the natural sciences, development studies have come to be regarded as the soft underbelly of "economic science". In development economics, the important question is: what are the springs of development? We must confess that we cannot answer this question, that we do not know what causes successful development.

Keywords: contemporary economics, social sciences, development economics

JEL Classification: A12, B40, B59, O10

Suggested Citation

Streeten, Paul, What's Wrong with Contemporary Economics?. Revista de Economía Institucional, Vol. 9, No. 16, 2007, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=996604

Paul Streeten (Contact Author)

Boston University ( email )

595 Commonwealth Avenue
Boston, MA 02215
United States

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