Physics Fetish

David Adesnik, guest conspirator at, criticizes the scientism of political scientists. The same criticism is often made of economists, as anyone familiar with Austrian, post-autistic, and heterodox economics is already aware. Speaking of the heterodoxy, here's the litany:

    The heterodoxy includes (but is not limited to) Austrian economics, Behavioural economics, Black political economy, Ecological economics, Evolutionary economics, Feminist economics, Georgist economics, Historical economics, Institutionalism, Marxism, Post Keynesian economics, Postmodern economics, Postcolonial economics, Rhetorical economics, Social economics and Sraffian economics.

That's quite a collection.

Anyway, I'm interested in non-conventional economics not out of any philosophical or ideological reasons, but simply because I suck at advanced calculus, and these approaches offer an easy way out. Laziness is the refuge of scoundrels.

I came up with a possible research topic along these lines, although it is quite possible that someone else already thought of it before me. Economists often note that professional fields like medicine and law benefit from licensing regulations and other barriers to entry that exclude a number of prospective doctors and lawyers, thereby keeping wages higher than what they would be otherwise in a free market.

My theory is that we should apply this same argument to economists as well. Perhaps one of the reasons why economists have moved towards a math-intensive research agenda is because this complicates matters and keeps dimwits like me out of the field. I still need to figure out what kind of empirical evidence I would need to gather in order to demonstrate this to be true.

However, I think I'll wait until I get tenure before I publish this paper.

Share this

You would probably enjoy

You would probably enjoy Virginia's P.U.B. school (Publicly Unfit Busybodies) which has an undergraduate program in B.E.E.R. (Basic Economic and Exchange Rhetoric).

It's a State school though, so watch out for midgets.