Monday, 2 November 2009

Soros funding anti-economics

Also on Offsetting Behaviour Eric points out that George Soros is throwing $50 million at funding anti-economics economists.
George Soros throws $50 million at funding anti-economics economists. Will the academic outcries be as loud as when BB&T gave $1 million to fund a course in Ayn Rand studies? Similar bequests on the right have led to endless handwringing about subversion of the independence of academia: just remember the establishment of the Friedman Center. Why the silence now? Hmm.
Why the silence, is a good question.

If you read the post from the first link Eric gives, you find this said:
This week Soros is gathering some of the leading practitioners of the market-skeptic school, who were marginalized during the era of "free-market fundamentalism," among them Nobelists Joseph Stiglitz, George Akerlof, Michael Spence, and Sir James Mirrlees.
Now all of these guys are Nobel Prize winners, as noted. Getting the Nobel Prize is what being marginalised results in?! All of them have made huge contributions to the study of asymmetric information, the mainstay of microeconomics since the 1970s, that's what they got their Nobels for. But asymmetric information is part of every microeconomics, and many macroeconomic, course that students take. Again, this is what being marginalised results in? Being taught in every micro course around is being marginalised? Stiglitz is an ex-chief economist for the World Bank, Spence is head of the Commission on Growth and Development. Mirrlees got knighted for this work. This is what being marginalised results in?

Their ideas are well known and taught and fully discussed in the relevant economics literature. There is noway in hell any of those guys are marginalised.

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