Thursday, April 30, 2009

Barry Eichengreen

Barry Eichengreen (who thinks I'm in the worst class ever of Berkeley grad students) has written a fantastic essay on the culture of economics research and the cultural origins of the financial crisis. I've noticed lately that most of the questions from non-economists that I get upon their finding out my field of study have switched from "so what's up with the economy?" do "so how is your profession going to change so it stops getting us into these messes?" to which I reply* as nicely as possible about how the culture of economics research has evolved from qualitative, un-micro-founded guidelines to an orgy of hard theory for the last few decades to a new renaissance of empirical and behavioral work. This essay makes similar (and many other points) and so should be read widely even among non-economists. It's very interesting.

*All the while thinking this question is almost as silly as asking physicists how they got us into this mess when the sun begins to shed its outer atmospheric layers and we fry.