The Institute Blog

On the Playground: What is progress in economics?

When is one theory better than the other? What is progress in economics? “The Kids” asked a dozen economists in the halls of the Mount Washington Hotel in Bretton Woods, and we invite you to watch what they said.

Progress in Economics

In 2008, the world avoided making the policy mistakes of the Great Depression. That's progress, says George Akerlof. Anatole Kaletsky tells us what progress is not: to introduce, in the name of rigor, ever more unrealistic assumptions in economics, however mathematically convenient these may be. And James Galbraith compares progress to pornography: it’s hard to define, but you recognize it if you ever see it.

Click here to watch the video.

Last week’s clip showed a range of opinion on corruption in academia, and next week’s clip raises the question of what is a good model in economics.