Cartoon: Economists socially

Via the always excellent SMBC.

I would say this is a close approximation to how I operate in town – I just usually forget the notepad 😉

On a more serious note, it is true that people who do economics do tend to be very analytical about social situations – that is the field we work in, that is what we do, and we are a self-selected group that does that.  It reminds me of that facetious paper that did an anthropological analysis of economists – does anyone know where that is so I can link it here?  UpdateHere, thanks Eric Crampton.

  • Life amongst the Econ, by Axel Leijonhufvud. Any Google search brings it up.

  • @Eric Crampton

    Thanks – I couldn’t remember the title, and searching for anthropology and economics didn’t get me anywhere!

  • I’ve never read it before and it was thoroughly depressing!

  • @rauparaha

    “Thus, in explaining to a stranger, for example, why he holds Sociogs or the Polsci in such low regard, the Econ will say that “they do not make modls” and leave it at that”.

    Pure awesome.

  • @Matt Nolan
    One prominent NZ econ blogger might be more likely to use the phrase “they do not make reductionist modls” and leave it at that. Which I find FAR more convincing 😉

  • @rauparaha

    Without reductionism you’re not really making “modls” right 😉

  • @Matt Nolan
    Can’t you have a model with emergent phenomena given as a parameter input? It would then be hard to term it reductionist unless the term were used very loosely.

  • @rauparaha

    But you would want to come up with a reason why you pick that parameter – and that causal reasoning will be based on another reductionist model right?

  • @Matt Nolan
    Only if you mean emergence in a very weak sense. Otherwise there would be observational evidence without an explanatory, reductionist model. Perhaps it’s a poor example but is there a reductionist model for humans’ time preference? If so, I haven’t seen it often cited by economists when they choose a discount rate for their modl.

  • @rauparaha

    Ahhh, Mill style deductivism aye. I would note that these “internally found” parameters are just given facts – you can’t reduce down past them. Where possible, it would be nice to use psychological models to build these – and that is one area of research no?