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RS 179 - Dani Rodrik on “Is economics more art or science?”

Release date: March 5th, 2017

Dani Rodrik

This episode features Harvard economist Dani Rodrik, talking about the epistemology of economics: Are there any general "laws" of economics that we can be really confident in? Do economists discard models if the data doesn't support them? And why do economists disagree with each other?

Dani's Pick: "The Great Transformation" by Karl Polanyi

Edited by Brent Silk

Music by Miracles of Modern Science


Full Transcripts 

Reader Comments (14)

Thanks for the informative podcast. Maybe your sponsor would be willing to pay for a link on the page here as well? Also I appreciate having the speaker's pick listed, but what about a link to his latest book?
March 15, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterMark Dwyer
I enjoyed this episode as well, and found the epistemology discussion quite interesting. Well done, all involved :-)


March 20, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterJohn Michael Zorko
why not think of economics as engineering rather than science?
March 27, 2017 | Unregistered Commenterdmf
Finally a useful and important topic but with only a representative of the degenerative program of neo-classical economics. Despite the talk about these theories applying in specific circumstances. How about an honest talk about how they are so unreal that they never apply anywhere at anytime and how these economists are nothing more than shills for the current banks and power structures in government. Why don't you get someone like Steve Keen, Michael Hudson, or other heterodox economists on? Steve Keen goes over all the main approaches in a lecture series on YouTube. How about discussing on what all approaches cannot agree on which is energy consumption and the environment? I do not just mean carbon emissions but the demand for energy in a capitalist economy. Capitalism is based on exponential growth but the planet is not able to dissipate the heat from the energy used fast enough. So capitalist economics will result in about 400 years, an Earth surface temperature of the boiling point of water!!
April 3, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterMark
Economics: Science or Cult?
April 6, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterMark
Thank you for sharing the post! Opinion of an economist is very great and helpful for me.
April 11, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterKelly
Another way to make a familiar dish. I think it will be very attractive. I will do it for my family's dinner. Thanks for your guidance a lot!
April 22, 2017 | Unregistered Commenterhotmail login
Putting my Austrian-school hat on, it is useful to point out at least one fundamental truth, which is that "humans act". That means they have purposes which they pursue with their individual knowledge and using scarce means, that they have choices and trade-offs, that there are individual preferences.
This may seem tautological, just like Descartes's "I think", but it is a surprisingly powerful way to discover fundamental laws of economics.

Such knowledge is both confident (in that it is derived logically from propositions that are undeniable without self-contradiction) and humble (it provides no knowledge of individuals preferences, it gives no quantitative estimation, and unlike physical sciences it provides no universal constants).
This is probably not all the knowledge that can be built in economics, but it forms a strong core of a-priori. And I would argue that the rest of what constitutes modern economics is quite soft indeed.
May 17, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterJulien Couvreur
I think that this post is so really good content which make me know the epistemology of economics clearly. So the post willing to be pay for a link on the page here as well.
June 20, 2017 | Unregistered Commentertwitter search
Economics is neither an art nor a science, it is a humanity.

Raising the minimum wage always hurts employment. Raising the min wage may appear to increase employment in a society with high benefits for the unemployed, since the higher wage encourages the unemployed to forgo unemployment benefits and instead engage in work.
December 4, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterJameson
We all know technology is changing by the minute so talking to someone who has the latest information is definitely better than going though old manuals.
August 30, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterMitchell Jhon
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August 30, 2018 | Unregistered Commenterfdf

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