A Plea to Economists Who Favour Liberty: Assist the Everyman (Occasional Paper #118)

Overview

Should economists remain as detached scholars, pursuing their research to the satisfaction of themselves and fellow academics? Or should they try to educate their fellow men and women in economic ideas, hoping to have an impact on economic policy?

In this Occasional Paper, Professor Daniel B. Klein addresses these issues, concluding that if economists want to be influential in policy-making, they must be willing to communicate with the 'Everyman'. Scholasticism is valuable in ...

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Overview

Should economists remain as detached scholars, pursuing their research to the satisfaction of themselves and fellow academics? Or should they try to educate their fellow men and women in economic ideas, hoping to have an impact on economic policy?

In this Occasional Paper, Professor Daniel B. Klein addresses these issues, concluding that if economists want to be influential in policy-making, they must be willing to communicate with the 'Everyman'. Scholasticism is valuable in encouraging high research standards, but it has been carried too far in the economics profession, to the detriment of research and teaching which are relevant to policy.

Five well-known economists - John Flemming, Charles Goodhart, Israel Kirzner, Deirdre McCloskey and Gordon Tullock - then comment on Klein's paper.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780255365017
  • Publisher: Institute of Economic Affairs
  • Publication date: 12/28/2001
  • Series: Occasional Paper 118 , #118
  • Pages: 107

Table of Contents

The authors 7
Foreword 13
Acknowledgements 16
Summary 17
List of figures 19
1 Introduction 23
2 A misplaced faith in an invisible hand 27
3 Hayek and others doubt that doing well is doing good 30
4 An impoverished understanding of knowledge 33
5 Tullock on doing good 39
6 Do economists believe in what they are doing? 42
7 Public discourse versus scholasticism 46
8 A model of preference falsification within the economics profession 49
9 Concluding remarks 52
Commentaries 55
1 John Flemming 55
2 Charles Goodhart 59
3 Israel M. Kirzner 69
4 Deirdre McCloskey 76
5 Gordon Tullock 80
Response to commentaries 88
Reply to Goodhart 90
Reply to Kirzner 91
Low-tech, high-oomph empirical evidence 93
References 99
About the IEA 106
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