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I fear many economists are too caught up in their own survival

Summary:
From Tony Lawson and RWER current issue I fear, though, that many economists, even some that present themselves as radical thinkers, are too caught up in their own survival (or promotion ambitions, etc.) in the academy to move in a direction of any relevance. The convenient, often seemingly compulsory, recourse is to stay on the safe and (in truth far too) easy (if seemingly impressive to the non-mathematical) path to nowhere that is economic modelling. Already numerous self-styled heterodox economists of recent years have reverted to it. No doubt new models will be presented as different, radical and relevant. But how could they be relevant? If the ontological presuppositions are as wide of the mark as I have suggested, they simply cannot provide novel insight. This of course applies

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from Tony Lawson and RWER current issue

I fear, though, that many economists, even some that present themselves as radical thinkers, are too caught up in their own survival (or promotion ambitions, etc.) in the academy to move in a direction of any relevance. The convenient, often seemingly compulsory, recourse is to stay on the safe and (in truth far too) easy (if seemingly impressive to the non-mathematical) path to nowhere that is economic modelling. Already numerous self-styled heterodox economists of recent years have reverted to it. No doubt new models will be presented as different, radical and relevant. But how could they be relevant? If the ontological presuppositions are as wide of the mark as I have suggested, they simply cannot provide novel insight. This of course applies as much to models interpreted as concerned with degrowth, post-growth, steady-state economies, local and regional economies, complexity, general well-being or whatever. The current emphasis on modelling, rather, is one of the obstacles to be transcended if we are to (achieve a discipline capable of contributing to determining ways to) move towards a world of generalised responsible flourishing.

Relatedly, it can also be something of a distraction to devote significant resources to supplementing or even seeking to replace existing economic indicators like GDP by (well-motivated) constructions such as well-being measures, or resource-use measures, if all are based on assumptions that are as untenable as those used to fabricate existing aggregate economic measures. For not only is a reliance on them itself a questionable activity (given the manner of their construction), it is likely to further divert attention from factors that really do matter but are very obviously not measurable, including the social relations that govern (render possible and set limits to) all activities.

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