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The problems of economics as an academic pursuit have a sociological origin — Gerald Holtham

Summary:
The solution to a problem that is sociological and political does not lie in abstract discussions of methodology or trying to identify philosophical mistakes. It lies in being open-minded to insights from outside economics , in constructing theories that use appropriate formal methods not theories that are constructed to show off command of formal methods whether appropriate or not. It means defining the domain of theoretical propositions and accepting the verdict of empirical data relevant to that domain. In other words the answer to people doing it wrong is not to despair and retreat into philosophy; the answer is to do it right. No-one should claim that is easy. The problem with conventional economics is assuming that economics is naturalistic like natural science rather than

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The solution to a problem that is sociological and political does not lie in abstract discussions of methodology or trying to identify philosophical mistakes. It lies in being open-minded to insights from outside economics , in constructing theories that use appropriate formal methods not theories that are constructed to show off command of formal methods whether appropriate or not. It means defining the domain of theoretical propositions and accepting the verdict of empirical data relevant to that domain. In other words the answer to people doing it wrong is not to despair and retreat into philosophy; the answer is to do it right. No-one should claim that is easy.
The problem with conventional economics is assuming that economics is naturalistic like natural science rather than historical, in that participants are socially embedded in contexts that are dynamic.  The degree of complexity increases from physical systems, to biological systems, to social systems. Hence, different methodology — developing suitable methods for inquiry — is called for.

Real-World Economics Review Blog
The problems of economics as an academic pursuit have a sociological origin

Gerald Holtham

See also

Lars P. Syll’s Blog
What’s the use of economic models?
Lars P. Syll | Professor, Malmo University

Mike Norman
Mike Norman is an economist and veteran trader whose career has spanned over 30 years on Wall Street. He is a former member and trader on the CME, NYMEX, COMEX and NYFE and he managed money for one of the largest hedge funds and ran a prop trading desk for Credit Suisse.

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