Economics has increasingly become an intellectual game played for its own sake and not for its practical consequences for understanding the economic world. Economists have converted the subject into a sort of social mathematics in which analytical rigour is everything and practical relevance is nothing.
At least three Nobel laureates have expressed their concerns. At a very early stage Wassily Leontief in 1982 objected that models had become more important than data: “Page after page of professional economic journals are ﬁlled with mathematical formulas … Year after year, economic theorists continue to produce scores of mathematical models and to explore in great detail their formal properties; and the econometricians ﬁt algebraic functions of all possible shapes to essentially the same sets of data.”…
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