The financial crisis as a symbol of the failure of academic finance? (A methodological digression)
AbstractThe failure of academic finance can be considered one of the symbols of the financial crisis. Two important underlying reasons why academic finance models systematically fail to account for real-world phenomena follow directly from two conventions: (a) treating economics not as a „true‟ social science, but as a branch of applied mathematics inspired by the methodology of classical physics, and (b) using economic models as if the empirical content of economic theories is not very low. Failure to understand and appreciate the inherent weaknesses of these „conventions‟ had fatal consequences for the use and interpretation of key academic finance concepts and models by market practitioners and policymakers. Theoretical constructs such as the efficient markets hypothesis, rational expectations, and market completeness were too often treated as intellectual dogmas instead of (parts of) falsifiable hypotheses. The situation of capture via dominant intellectual dogmas of policymakers, investors, and business managers was made worse by sins of omission - the failure of academics to communicate the limitations of their models and to warn against (potential) misuses of their research - and sins of commission – introducing (often implicitly) ideological or biased features in research programs. Hence, the deeper problem with finance concepts such as the „efficient markets hypothesis‟ and „ratex theory‟ is not that they are based on assumptions that are considered as not being „realistic‟. The real issue at stake with academic finance is not a quarrel about the validity of the assumption of rational behavior but the inherent semantical insufficiency of economic theories that implies a low empirical content, and a high degree of specification uncertainty. This perspective makes the scientific approach advocated by Friedman and others less straightforward. In addition, there is wide-spread failure to incorporate the key implications of economics as a social science. As a response to these „weaknesses‟ and challenges, five suggested principles or guidelines for future research programs are outlined.
Download InfoTo our knowledge, this item is not available for download. To find whether it is available, there are three options:
1. Check below under "Related research" whether another version of this item is available online.
2. Check on the provider's web page whether it is in fact available.
3. Perform a search for a similarly titled item that would be available.
Bibliographic InfoArticle provided by Capco Institute in its journal Journal of Financial Transformation.
Volume (Year): 27 (2009)
Issue (Month): ()
Contact details of provider:
Postal: 120 Broadway, 29th Floor New York, NY 10271
Phone: +1 212 284 8600
Web page: http://www.capco.com/
financial crisis; market efficiency; financial markets;
Find related papers by JEL classification:
- G14 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - Information and Market Efficiency; Event Studies; Insider Trading
- G21 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - Banks; Other Depository Institutions; Micro Finance Institutions; Mortgages
You can help add them by filling out this form.
reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.Access and download statisticsgeneral information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Peter Springett).
If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.
If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.
If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.
Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.