The Pseudoscience of Economics

The Pseudoscience of Economics

Bratislava : Slovakia | Aug 02, 2012 at 8:41 AM PDT
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pseudoscience is better in japanese

According to wikipedia:

"Pseudoscience is a claim, belief, or practice which is presented as scientific, but does not adhere to a valid scientific method, lacks supporting evidence or plausibility, cannot be reliably tested, or otherwise lacks scientific status. Pseudoscience is often characterized by the use of vague, exaggerated or unprovable claims, an over-reliance on confirmation rather than rigorous attempts at refutation, a lack of openness to evaluation by other experts, and a general absence of systematic processes to rationally develop theories."

I think economics satisfies most of these criteria. For example, economists love presenting their work as scientific (see Lazear) however, many of their theories cannot be reliable tested, because people's "utility" functions simply cannot be measured in any sense, so any conclusions derived from those functions are totally bogus. Moreover, pseudoscience is characterised by "exaggerated or unprovable" claims, which is true of economics as well. The impact of minimum wages on unemployment for example is hugely exaggerated, even though reality shows the effects to be negligible if that. The same with the so called "disincentive" effects of high rates of marginal taxation.

There's clearly an overreliance on confirmation rather than refutation, as Card and Kreuger found evidence of publication bias with respect to minimum wage studies, with papers showing a statistical significant effect of the minimum wage on unemployment more likely to be published than those showing no effect.

There is clearly "a lack of openness to evaluation by other experts,", since whenever scholars from other disciplines try to debunk economic theories, they're called left wing idiots. When other heterodox economists like Steve Keen criticise economics, they're called cranks, without any attempt to rationally debate their arguments.

There is no better example as head of The Federal Reserve Ben Bernanke who missed targets so many times.

"Ben Bernanke was wrong" on youtube.

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nothingnew is based in Poprad, Prešovský, Slovakia, and is a Stringer on Allvoices.
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