Search the Site

Hating Economists but Loving Economics

Robert Shiller points to an interesting conflict in economics today: “We are in the midst of a boom in popular economics: books, articles, blogs, public lectures, all followed closely by the general public. Yet this boom in popular economics comes at a time when the general public seems to have lost faith in professional economists – because almost all of us failed to predict, or even warn of, the current economic crisis, the biggest since the Great Depression.” Shiller thinks the best explanation is “that economics has become more interesting because it no longer seems to be a finished and closed discipline. It is no fun to read a book or article that says that economic forecasting is best left to computer models that you, the general reader, would need a doctorate to understand. And, in truth, the public is right: While there is a somewhat scientific basis for these models, they can go spectacularly wrong. Sometimes we need to turn off autopilot and think for ourselves-and, when a crisis occurs, use our best human intellect.” [%comments]