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Economics Must Build Back Better, Too

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Add to Bookmarks Apr 1, 2021 Thoughtful economists have long been concerned by their profession’s hubristic tendencies, collective attachment to questionable models, and lack of openness to new and different voices. Will the combined effect of the global financial crisis, the anti-globalization backlash, and now COVID-19 finally prompt the discipline to demonstrate greater humility and embrace genuine diversity? In this Big Picture, Harvard University’s Dani Rodrik thinks that while economists can be justifiably proud of the power of their statistical and

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Thoughtful economists have long been concerned by their profession’s hubristic tendencies, collective attachment to questionable models, and lack of openness to new and different voices. Will the combined effect of the global financial crisis, the anti-globalization backlash, and now COVID-19 finally prompt the discipline to demonstrate greater humility and embrace genuine diversity?

In this Big Picture, Harvard University’s Dani Rodrik thinks that while economists can be justifiably proud of the power of their statistical and analytical methods, they need to be more self-conscious about these tools’ limitations. In that regard, Arvind Subramanian and Johns Hopkins University’s Devesh Kapur show how growing use of one such tool – randomized controlled trials – is excluding not only ideas but...

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