Which is a direct quote from Deirdre McCloskey at the end of my presentation this morning. So let me return the compliment. In her presentation to the plenary which came immediately after my parallel session, I agreed with everything she said. So let me summarise some of what she said in point form:
- text books spend half a lesson explaining supply and demand and then go on about “externalities” as if they actually amount to anything significant at all
- economics now has all the relevance for understanding the economy as chess problems have for understanding how to play chess
- there is no such thing as a physical externality; they are all moral
- we over teach econometrics and should instead focus on other means of measurement of what is going on
She held the floor for an hour and the chair at the end wished an extra hour had been put aside. One of the great economic superstars. I say again that HET is where most of the interesting action in economic theory is.
Meanwhile off to dinner. Great to be back in Toronto even if only for the moment.