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Archive for May 10th, 2009

Via Mark Thoma, I learn that the “Perimeter Institute conference on economics is being organized in an effort to better evaluate the state of economics as a predictive and descriptive science in light of the current market crisis.”

A couple abstracts stick out in particular:

A Science Less Dismal: Welcome to the Economic Manhattan Project (pdf)
Speaker(s): Eric Weinstein
Abstract: An unexpected economic crisis provides an excellent opportunity to better understand the state of Economic theory as a science. While there appears to have been a broad systemic failure within the community of professional economists to predict the current collapse, it must be noted that there have been scattered successes which appear striking and demand our attention. The goal of this conference is to bring together economists, biologists, mathematicians, physicists, programmers, and financial professionals to explore the opportunities for bringing economic theory into closer contact with the more traditional sciences as the basis for ongoing work, partnership, and collaboration.
And then this one:
Scientists, Scienster, Anti-Scientists & Economists (pdf)
Speaker(s): Emanuel Derman
Abstract: The syntax of economic theory closely resembles the syntax of physics. But physics deals with what seems to be the objective world. In contrast, the essence of economics is subjectivity and moral choice. What can you reasonably expect from treating economics as a branch of science? This talk compares the nature and efficacy of models in both physics and finance, and tries to reach a sane answer to the question above. (more…)
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