Does Economics Need a Facelift?

An article on makes the case that economics as an empirical subject field was founded on soon-to-be outdated physics and is currently wholly unscientific which leads to a stifling of otherwise “viable economic solutions for global warming and other menacing environmental problems.”

The strategy the economists used was as simple as it was absurd—they substituted economic variables for physical ones. Utility (a measure of economic well-being) took the place of energy; the sum of utility and expenditure replaced potential and kinetic energy. A number of well-known mathematicians and physicists told the economists that there was absolutely no basis for making these substitutions. But the economists ignored such criticisms and proceeded to claim that they had transformed their field of study into a rigorously mathematical scientific discipline.

(hat tip:  Tom H.)


2 responses to “Does Economics Need a Facelift?

  1. When did econ stop being a social science?

  2. It is still a social science — but one with a heavy mathematical model. I read a book not too long ago about the history of Harvard. It was the president and economist Larry Summers who stated that all things can be understand via economics.

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