Monday, February 22, 2016

Economic failures

I read recently a critique of the economics field, by Timothy Garton Ash, based on the supposed failure of the field to achieve the basic principles of science. The author stresses the need, in economics, of more humble and modest assertions giving the uncertainty of the field.

I went to Wikipedia to find the definition of science and it says “Science is a systematic enterprise that creates, builds and organizes knowledge in the form of testable explanations and predictions about the universe.”

And goes on saying:

“Popper proposed replacing verifiability with falsifiability as the landmark of scientific theories, and replacing induction with falsification as the empirical method. Popper further claimed that there is actually only one universal method, not specific to science: the negative method of criticism, trial and error. It covers all products of the human mind, including science, mathematics, philosophy, and art. […] A scientific theory is empirical, and is always open to falsification if new evidence is presented. That is, no theory is ever considered strictly certain as science accepts the concept of fallibilism.”

This is probably one of the main deficiencies of the economic science, the lack of replicability. Not that it can’t be done, but that there is no incentive whatsoever to the economic researcher for doing so. That causes a big black hole, without new evidence there is no falsification.

So, when Andrew C. Chang and Phillip Li decided to start digging on replicability and falsifiability in economics, this is what happened: 

No comments: