Soul of Economics: Special issue on the state of the art of Microeconomics/Macroeconomics/Policy 10 years after the financial crisis

Chiara Lisciandra (Editor), Carlo Martini (Editor), Catherine Herfeld (Editor)

Research output: Contribution to journalSpecial issue editingAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

Since the Financial Crisis of 2007-08, there has been considerable soul-searching within the economics profession regarding its methodological and conceptual core. This search was triggered not only by questions about the potential causes of the crisis, but also about the usefulness of old and new theoretical, conceptual, and empirical tools that economists use to explain and predict economic phenomena and to suggest policy measures in society. The epistemic challenges that those tools pose have furthermore sparked critical reflections on how much the public can trust the opinion of economic experts and the policy recommendations that economists give.

This special issue wants to offer a platform to reflect on the process and outcome of this soul-search. Its first goal is to make more explicit the questions posed in this process, and the outcomes that resulted from it; and secondly, on the basis of the outcomes of those debates, draw some preliminary conclusions about the current state of economics. The overarching aim is thereby to allow for a reflection on a set of key issues that could help us better understand where this soul-search could constructively lead us in the future. The contributions will provoke new methodological questions and open new avenues for how they could be fruitfully answered. To cover a broad range of issues related to the general debate, we will have contributions by economists, economic methodologists, historians of economics and philosophers of economics.
To provide an overview of different areas of economics, the discussion will center around three main areas of ongoing disagreement: first, the debate in macroeconomics about the usefulness of DSGE models and the demand for microfoundations; second, the discussion of the status and usefulness of behavioral economics and how it theoretically and conceptually differs from neoclassical economics; and, third, the debate about the role of methodological consensus to regain public trust in economic expertise. Each contribution will address questions that emerge in one of the following three exemplary debates that have (re-)gained relevance since the Financial Crisis of 2008.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Economic Methodology
Publication statusPublished - 2022

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