Paul Krugman+ Your Authors @paulkrugman Nobel laureate. Op-Ed columnist, @nytopinion. Author, “The Return of Depression Economics,” “The Great Unraveling,” "Arguing With Zombies," + more. Jul. 21, 2020 1 min read + Your Authors

Henry Farrell has a caustic blog post on economists who think they're smarter than epidemiologists, keying off a recent column of mine. But my col was about politicians, not economists; who are these economists we're talking about? 1/  https://crookedtimber.org/2020/07/20/economists-versus-epidemiologists/ 

They're pretty clearly a minority of the profession. Some are part of the charlatan-and-crank wing; it's noteworthy when Stephen Moore leads a smear campaign against Anthony Fauci, but doesn't say much about the state of economics 2/

The rest seem to be more or less identical to the people who insisted circa 2009 that Keynesianism was nonsense and had been proved wrong — a case they made by reinventing 80-year-old fallacies 3/

There are, to be sure, economists who suffer from severe unearned arrogance, believing that because they can crank through complicated models they must be smarter than other people, including other economists. 4/

But this kind of ignorant arrogance/intellectual imperialism isn't unique to economists. Try talking economics with physicists! 5/

What's special about this situation isn't that people who know something about one field have delusions of omnicompetence. It's the political edge, which associates actually bad economics with conservative goals 6/


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