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Quotation of the Day…

… is from pages 326-327 of the late University of Washington economist Paul Heyne‘s undated and previously unpublished manuscript titled “Teaching Economics By Telling Stories,” as it appears in the 2008 collection of Heyne’s writings, Are Economists Basically Immoral?” and Other Essays on Economics, Ethics, and Religion (Geoffrey Brennan and A.M.C. Waterman, eds.):

But a mastery of the formalities is not the same as really understanding how markets work.  I have known dozens of economics students, many of them graduate students, whose command of technical theory would earn them an A grade in an economics course, who were incapable of seeing how this theory illuminated the working of actual economic systems.

DBx: Economics, properly and productively done, is driven less by a concern to describe ‘the’ economy and much more by the desire to understand the forces at work that enable, today, billions of people to cooperate in an orderly and productive way in a globe-spanning economy marked by a deep division of labor and division of knowledge.