Wren-Lewis/Mirowski/Syll on neoliberalism29 May, 2016 at 18:45 | Posted in Economics | 2 Comments
Oxford professor Simon Wren-Lewis had a post up some time ago commenting on traction gaining ‘attacks on mainstream economics’:
One frequent accusation … often repeated by heterodox economists, is that mainstream economics and neoliberal ideas are inextricably linked. Of course economics is used to support neoliberalism. Yet I find mainstream economics full of ideas and analysis that permits a wide ranging and deep critique of these same positions. The idea that the two live and die together is just silly.
And now he’s back again defending the mainstream economics establishment against critique waged against it from Phil Mirowski:
Mirowski overestimates the extent to which neoliberal ideas have become “embedded in economic theory”, and underestimates the power that economic theory and evidence can have over even those academic economists who might have a neoliberal disposition. If the tide of neoliberal thought is going to be turned back, economics is going to be important in making that happen.
Wren-Lewis admits that ‘Philip Mirowski is a historian who has written a great deal about both the history of economics as a discipline and about neoliberalism’ and that Mirowski ‘knows much more about the history of both subjects than I [W-L] do’. Fair enough, but there are simple remedies for the lack of knowledge.
Start take a look at this video:
Or maybe read this essay, where yours truly try to further analyze — much inspired by the works of Amartya Sen — what kind of philosophical-ideological-political-economic doctrine neoliberalism is, and why it so often comes natural for mainstream economists to embrace neoliberal ideals.
[Or maybe — if you know some Swedish — you could take part of this book-length argumentation (Atlas 2001) for why there has been such a deep and long-standing connection between the dismal science and different varieties of neoliberalism.]