≡ Menu

Bonus Quotation of the Day…

… is from pages 62-63 of my late Nobel-laureate colleague Jim Buchanan’s deep and rich 1969 paper “Is Economics the Science of Choice?,” as this paper is reprinted in Jim’s indispensable 1979 collection, What Should Economists Do?:

Modern economics, as practiced by professional scholars, embodies confusions that are fundamentally methodological….

The failure of economists to recognize that the sense data upon which individuals actually choose in either market or political choice structures are dimensionally distinct from any data that can be objectively called upon by external observers led directly to the methodological chaos that currently exists.

DBx: Nearly a half-century later, I argue that the methodological chaos that Jim here identifies continues to plague the economics profession. In order to appear to be measuring things empirically, too many economists disregard the towering complexity of reality – a reality that is both far less objective than many economists think it to be, and one whose details – often unobservable – are vast in number and highly significant in their consequences.