Entrenched economics

October 9, 2014

The subject of economics appears to be stuck in a deep rut of rote learning, complex mathematical-based theory and squabbling over ideologies rather than devising good advice for business. So why, exactly, should the boss of a medium-size manufacturing company consider employing an economics graduate?

Brian Bloch’s ambitious suggestion of critical reflection on what is really happening out there in the economy (“Earth to economists: your ivory tower isolation is not an option”, News, 25 September) doesn’t pull readers out of the subject’s intellectual ditch unless students are equipped to investigate issues at the diverse social level, ie, real people in real jobs, not the jobs an academic thinks are being done.

Given that little is known about the problematic business world, it could strengthen economics if students were formally coached to learn what feet-on-the-ground organisational personnel are doing, and how to reach agreement over improvement.

Mathematics may have only a minor role in this (potential and exciting) branch of economics. Perhaps some departments have already escaped from the ditch.

Neil Richardson
Kirkheaton

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