Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Dilemma of an economist

This is from Ariel Rubinstein's Dilemma of An Economic Theorist but I think it applies to economists as a whole:
"What on earth am I doing? What are we trying to accomplish as economic theorists? We essentially play with toys called models. We have the luxury of remaining children over the course of our entire professional lives and we are even well paid for it. We get to call ourselves economists and the public naively thinks that we are improving the economy’s performance, increasing the rate of growth, or preventing economic catastrophes. Of course, we can justify this image by repeating some of the same fancy sounding slogans we use in our grant proposals, but do we ourselves believe in those slogans?"

By the way, Ariel Rubinstein's website is like entering what I might have thought to be a run of the mill book store but discovered it to be an amazing place for browsing. Check out his Cafe Poster.

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