Friday, October 16, 2009

Economics Is Not a Hard Science.. and No One Ever Said It Was

The cry, "economics isn't a hard science!!", is a common one when people object to economic analysis, but, seemingly, don't actually want to address the specifics of the analysis. Hell, it's even been used against me.

Here's the thing, no economist, or student of economics, has ever claimed otherwise.  Economics is a social science, and not even the most science-y of those (from my experience in first year, I'd say that award goes to anthropology).

It's may be true that the dismal science can't prove anything, but it can provide a lot of evidence.  If you don't like the conclusions, address the conclusions drawn from the evidence or address the relevance of the analysis.  To claim that because economics isn't a hard science we shouldn't use it to address economic issues is intellectually vacuous.

Should we be throwing darts at a wall, instead?

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