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The Economy and the Economics Profession: Both Need Work


  • Barbara R Bergmann

    () (Department of Economics, American University, Washington, DC 20016, USA.)


We are now suffering through economic problems that are worse than those that buffeted us 35 years ago, when the Eastern Economic Association was born. Since then, we have not made a great deal of progress toward methods of observation and analysis that would make economics a truly empirical science and would provide a means to better policy. Much if not most of the profession is still mired in the traditional ways of doing micro (sitting in a chair and making it up) and macro (pretending the economy is a single person, writ large). Factionalism in the profession, based on political leanings, is still rife. Behavioral and experimental economists assume we can learn what we need to know about businesses from watching students playing games made up by their professors. Neuroeconomics is arguably nothing but a diversion from what we should be doing. Very few economists are engaging in direct observation of businesses, as they actually operate. More of such work is needed. Eastern Economic Journal (2009) 35, 2–9. doi:10.1057/eej.2008.49

Suggested Citation

  • Barbara R Bergmann, 2009. "The Economy and the Economics Profession: Both Need Work," Eastern Economic Journal, Palgrave Macmillan;Eastern Economic Association, vol. 35(1), pages 2-9.
  • Handle: RePEc:pal:easeco:v:35:y:2009:i:1:p:2-9

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