The Unbearable Lightness of the Economics-Made-Fun Genre
AbstractSeveral commentators have argued that the Economics-Made-Fun (“EMF”) genre contains very little actual economics. As such, it would seem that criticisms of EMF do not apply economics more broadly. In this paper I take a contrary view, arguing that, in fact, at a deep conceptual level, the engine of EMF analyses is precisely the engine of mainstream economics. Specifically, I argue that both EMF and mainstream economics rest on a conceptual foundation known as the Principal of the Substitution of Similars (“PSS”). Understanding how PSS leads EMF practitioners to make claims well beyond what is warranted by their analysis also offers insight into how PSS leaves mainstream economists in danger of overestimating the power and scope of their analyses. I explore the consequences of such problems through an example of economic analysis of the U.S. housing market in the lead-up to the recent financial crisis.
Download InfoIf you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by University of Massachusetts Boston, Economics Department in its series Working Papers with number 12.
Length: 29 Pages
Date of creation:
Date of revision:
Methodology; Popular Economics; William Stanley Jevons; Ontology; Anthropology of Finance;
Other versions of this item:
- Peter Spiegler, 2012. "The unbearable lightness of the economics-made-fun genre," Journal of Economic Methodology, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 19(3), pages 283-301, September.
- B13 - Schools of Economic Thought and Methodology - - History of Economic Thought through 1925 - - - Neoclassical through 1925 (Austrian, Marshallian, Walrasian, Stockholm School)
- B41 - Schools of Economic Thought and Methodology - - Economic Methodology - - - Economic Methodology
- Z13 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics - - - Economic Sociology; Economic Anthropology; Social and Economic Stratification
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Mark Duggan & Steven D. Levitt, 2000.
"Winning Isn't Everything: Corruption in Sumo Wrestling,"
NBER Working Papers
7798, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Mark Duggan & Steven D. Levitt, 2002. "Winning Isn't Everything: Corruption in Sumo Wrestling," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(5), pages 1594-1605, December.
- Donald MacKenzie, 2008. "An Engine, Not a Camera: How Financial Models Shape Markets," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262633671.
- John DiNardo, 2007. "Interesting Questions in Freakonomics," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 45(4), pages 973-1000, December.
- Maas,Harro, 2005. "William Stanley Jevons and the Making of Modern Economics," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521827126.
- Brian A. Jacob & Steven D. Levitt, 2003.
"Rotten Apples: An Investigation Of The Prevalence And Predictors Of Teacher Cheating,"
The Quarterly Journal of Economics,
MIT Press, vol. 118(3), pages 843-877, August.
- Brian A. Jacob & Steven D. Levitt, 2003. "Rotten Apples: An Investigation of the Prevalence and Predictors of Teacher Cheating," NBER Working Papers 9413, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Karl E. Case & Robert J. Shiller, 2003. "Is There a Bubble in the Housing Market?," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 34(2), pages 299-362.
- Aaron Steelman, 2005. "Book review : The relentless pursuit of incentives. "Freakonomics : a rogue economist explores the hidden side of everything" by Stephen D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner," Econ Focus, Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond, issue Sum, pages 46-47.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Arjun Jayadev).
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.