Archive for August 30th, 2009

Anyone who reads this blog knows that we like to take swings at the mainstream from the heterodox corner. Naturally, I was interested when I saw that Mark Thoma asked Barkley Rosser at EconoSpeak to respond to his claim that heterodox economists did not predict the crisis any better. Rosser points out some problems with even approaching this question:

It involves not only identifying “who called it,” (preferably publicly) and who did not, as well as this sticky wicket of “who is heterodox” and who is not (having just pointed out that it is unclear whether I count or not, and I called a lot of it, and there is question about whether Dean Baker is heterodox, who certainly called a lot of it and very early).

What certainly is clear that the clearly orthodox, and here I would say those who accepted (and many still accept) rational expectations and some sort of equilibrium associated with that, have been very wrong, with basically none of them “calling it.”

Rosser produces a list of 11 “heterodox economists” who predicted the crisis, and with the help of Australian economist Steven Keen classifies them as follows:

5 as Post Keynesian (Baker, Godley, Hudson, Keen, Sorenson), 2 as Austrian (Richebacher, Schiff), 2 as “from neoclassical backgrounds,” but “mavericks” (Roubini, Shiller), one sort of a combination of Austrian and Post Keynesian (Janszen), and one unclear (Harrison).

No Marxians on the list- interesting. Didn’t Richard Wolff predict the crisis (having trouble finding a link- can anyone help out the in the comments?)


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