Post-autistic economics

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The movement for Post-Autistic Economics (PAE) was born through the work of Sorbonne economist Bernard Guerrien. Started in Spring 2000 by group of disaffected French economics students, Post-Autistic Economics first reached a wider audience in June 2000 after an interview in Le Monde.[1]

It was supported by the Cambridge Ph.D. students in 2001 with the publication of "Opening Up Economics: A Proposal By Cambridge Students"[2], later signed by 797 economists.

The term autistic is used in an informal way, signifying "abnormal subjectivity, acceptance of fantasy rather than reality". [3]. It has been criticized for using the medical diagnosis, autism, as a derogatory expression.

The movement is best seen as a forum of different groups critical of the current mainstream: from behavioral and heterodox to feminist, green economics and econo-physics.


[edit] Concept

PAE has challenged standard neoclassical assumptions and incorporated ideas from sociology and psychology into economic analysis. Specifically, the notions of utility theory, rational choice, production and efficiency theory (Pareto optimality), and game theory have been criticised: one much-discussed article is Is There Anything Worth Keeping in Standard Microeconomics?.

Other topics include "Gross National Happiness", realism vs. mathematical consistency, "Thermodynamics and Economics", or "Irrelevance and Ideology". Contributors include Bruce Caldwell, James K. Galbraith, Robert L. Heilbroner, Bernard Guerrien, Emmanuelle Benicourt, Ha-Joon Chang, Herman Daly and Richard Wolff.

[edit] Criticism of the Term

Some mainstream economists - such as Robert Solow, in a long article [4] in Le Monde [5], followed by another by Olivier Blanchard, the chair at MIT, as well as the publication of a counter-petition to the French students’ petition, a plea for the status quo - argue that a characterization of academic economics taught in today's colleges as autistic in the sense of closed-minded is unfair, since many branches of post-modern economics reject classical economic world-views and heavy reliance on mathematics.

[edit] References

  1. ^ "Open letter from economic students". Le Monde. 2000-07-17. Retrieved on 2007-04-04. 
  2. ^ "Opening Up Economics: A Proposal By Cambridge Students" (14 June 2001)
  3. ^ ALCORN, Stanley and SOLARZ, Ben. The Autistic Economist, Yale Economic Review
  4. ^ Robert Solow (2001) L´économie entre empirisme et mathématisation. Le Monde, 3 January 2001, in post-autistic economics media archives
  5. ^ GALBRAITH, James K. A contribution on the state of economics in France and the world Post-autistic economics newsletter : issue no. 4, January, 2001

[edit] Literature

[edit] See also

[edit] External links

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