A few years back, the New Republic accused me of ruining economics.
Now The Economist magazine, in a much more subtle way, makes the same implication. Here’s the second sentence of an article entitled “What Went Wrong With Economics”:
A few years ago, the dismal science was being acclaimed as a way of explaining ever more forms of human behavior, from drug-dealing to sumo wrestling.
The article actually turns out to be an indictment of macroeconomics and financial economics — two fields I’ve had nothing to do with — so I can’t fairly take credit for the most recent ruination of economics. But I do appreciate their attempts to make me relevant.
I have one complaint though. The article is about how the models that macroeconomists thought described the economy have been revealed to work much less well than was previously believed. In contrast, my descriptions of drug-dealers and sumo wrestlers are no less applicable than when I did the research. Indeed, recent research by three Swiss economists suggests that my research on sumo actually changed the sport for a few years (they got rid of the sharp non-linearity that led to cheating, and the cheating disappeared), but later the non-linearity was reintroduced and the cheating came right back.