4 Dec 2012

Economics is NOT a science

I love this book:
Borrowing the prestige of scientific language and methods from the biological sciences, many social scientists have envisioned and tried to effect an objective, precise, and strictly replicable set of techniques -- a set of techniques that gives impartial and quantitative answers.

Thus most forms of formal policy analysis and cost-benefit analysis manage, through heroic assumptions and an implausible metric for comparing incommensurate variables, to produce a quantitative answer to thorny questions. They achieve impartiality, precision, and replicability at the cost of accuracy. -- James C. Scott, Seeing like a State (1998)
Addendum: He was just profiled in the NYT, and I've bought his new "anarchist" book.

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