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Is Economics More Successful Than Sociology Because It's More Masculine and Less Politically Correct?
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The field of economics has been perhaps the biggest success story in the social sciences over the last half century or so (at least as measured by economists’ favorite metric: money). While cultural anthropologists used to be celebrities, they’ve largely vanished from public consideration. Sociologists were once respected experts (e.g., when I was at Rice U. in the late 1970s, the most prominent professor, Bill Martin, was a sociologist; IIRC, he was even profiled by Sixty Minutes), but are now more often used as punchlines.

Economists, however, have done very well for themselves in terms of pay and publicity. For example, they got their fake Nobel Prize in the late 1960s and it’s largely treated as a real Nobel today.

Not surprisingly, economics is more of a Guy Subject. Fom the New York Times:

Female Economists Push Their Field Toward a #MeToo Reckoning
By Ben Casselman and Jim Tankersley, Jan. 10, 2019

ATLANTA — The economics profession is facing a mounting crisis of sexual harassment, discrimination and bullying that women in the field say has pushed many of them to the sidelines — or out of the field entirely.

Those issues took center stage at the American Economic Association’s annual meeting, the largest gathering of the profession, last weekend in Atlanta. Spurred by substantiated allegations of harassment against one of the most prominent young economists in the country, top women in the field shared stories of their own struggles with discrimination. Graduate students and junior professors demanded immediate steps by the A.E.A. to help victims of harassment and discipline economists who violate the group’s newly adopted code of conduct.

Leading male economists offered an unprecedented acknowledgment of harassment and discrimination in the field. “Economics certainly has a problem,” Ben Bernanke, the former Federal Reserve chairman, who took over as A.E.A. president this year, said during a panel discussion. The profession has, “unfortunately, a reputation for hostility toward women and minorities,” he said. …

Economics has long struggled with diversity. Only about a third of economics doctorates go to women, and the gender gap is wider at senior levels of the profession. Racial and ethnic minorities — particularly African-Americans and Latinos — are even more underrepresented. And notably, the gender gap in economics is wider than in other social sciences and, at least by some measures, traditionally male-dominated fields such as science and math.

Certain subfields, like finance, have a particularly poor record of advancing women.

I would imagine that finance economics is very close to being the most lucrative field in all of academia. So it tends to attract the most hard-charging, money-minded academics, who tend to be … men.

A branch of the American Finance Association presented survey results in Atlanta that show barely 10 percent of tenured finance professors, and 16 percent of tenure-track faculty, are women. In economics as a whole, women accounted for about 23 percent of tenured and tenure-track faculty in 2015. …

Stories of harassment and discrimination, long shared in private conversations and email chains, began to be aired more publicly last year with allegations that Roland G. Fryer, a prominent Harvard economist, had harassed and bullied women in his university-affiliated research lab.

Yet another high-achieving black man comes acropper of MeToo. Fryer was the highest paid professor at Harvard College because he brought in huge funds from zillionaires like Michael Bloomberg.

Somebody should study whether MeToo disparately discriminates against black men.

Many male economists long dismissed claims of bias and discrimination, arguing that gender disparities must reflect differences in preference or ability. They pointed to theories that predict that, in the simplified world of economic models, discrimination on the basis of characteristics like gender and race would disappear because of competition.

In recent years, however, a growing body of research has found evidence of discrimination at virtually every stage of the profession, from undergraduate enrollment to tenure decisions. Erin Hengel, a University of Liverpool economist, has found that women are held to higher standards of writing and research than their male colleagues. Alice Wu, then an undergraduate at the University of California, Berkeley, made waves two years ago with a paper documenting rampant misogyny and hostility toward women on a popular online forum for graduate students.

Wow, “hostility” on a forum for unemployed young high IQ men? Who could have predicted that?

One provocatively titled paper presented in Atlanta asked “Does Economics Make You Sexist?” It found that undergraduate students in Chile exhibited more implicit and explicit gender bias after studying economics. The effect was particularly strong among male students — and weaker in departments with more female faculty members.

My guess is that economics being more masculine, less politically correct, more mathematical, and more prestigious than other social sciences are all interrelated.

Turn econ into yet another pink collar ghetto like so much of academia, and the hard chargers will migrate to some other adjacent field, such as can be found in Business Schools.

 
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  1. MarkinLA says:

    I think is has more to do with economics providing the pseudo scientific studies needed to push policies the wealthy want. Those worthless studies become the talking points behind our stupid economic policies that Congress eventually passes and the President signs.

  2. Twinkie says:

    Amusingly, though, the “in” field of economics nowadays is behavioral economics, which integrates psychological and sociological factors rather than relying purely on “rationality” as such.

  3. Altai says:

    Economics is the alleged science of describing how the economy works and this may be used to ‘improve’ (Improve for whom?) it.

    I’d say just like the central bank of Sweden was got to buy a Nobel prize to promote Milton Friedman whose economic theories, there’s a lot of money to be made saying the people and industries with a lot of money should have much much more with a lot of thick mathematics behind it to make it seem scientific and objective.

    Both economics and sociology have serious experimental limits and social import that have made both fields of intellectual nepotistic guru-ism. The current academic economist chairman of the Fed (Though funnily looking and dressing like a sociology professor) is the wife of an economist whose son is also an economist. (It more resembles a priesthood than a scientific field) Both involve cult-like beliefs in nonsense whose promotion benefits the general narrative social/political agenda of the fields which is maintained through the above system denying academic credibility to other ideas or perspectives.

    There’s simply more direct interest and money in influencing economics than sociology. Plus, as Steve alluded, people are better at seeing through verbal obscurantism than mathematical. (Including not a few econ PhDs who only realise by the end of their thesis what economics is really about)

    • Replies: @Anonymous
    , @BB753
  4. What kind of Economics do they teach at Boston University? How “successful” is it?

    She [Occasional-Cortex] graduated cum laude from Boston University’s College of Arts and Sciences in 2011 with a bachelor’s degree in international relations and a minor in economics.[20][24][25] –Wikipedia

    • Replies: @rufus
    , @Art Deco
  5. Daniel H says:

    >>My guess is that economics being more masculine, less politically correct, more mathematical, and more prestigious than other social sciences are all interrelated.

    Economics may be more of this or less of that but, IMHO, it’s still a bogus pseudo-science, for the most part.

    • Agree: Kyle
  6. Economics is more masculine because it is harder, firmer, and more straightforward.

    Sociology is more feminine because it is softer, deeper and more receptive to different points of view.

  7. Coag says:

    The economics Nobel could win scientific legitimacy for itself by focusing on neuroscience, population genetics, and cultural anthropology informed by the first two—in other words focusing on the bases of human economic behavior.

    • Replies: @MarkinLA
  8. These repetitive NYT bias articles are like computer generated, fill-in-the blank Mad Libs:

    The elite field of [______] has a diversity problem. Only [___]% of the leading members of the field are women or people of color. Women in the field have complained of harassment and bullying. For example, [insert allusion to unspecified, unproven allegations by unnamed women].

    The problem has been admitted by leading men in the field, such as [insert name of cucky male who doesn’t want to lose his job], who says “I admit we have a problem, but we are trying to to do better in the future.”

    Discrimination deniers claim success in the field is based on merit. But this is debunked by a study by [obscure SJW sociologist], who concludes in [obscure cherry-picked study based on non-representative sample that will never replicate] that women are innately equal to men and any disparity is therefore due to bias.

    As a result, experts agree that the problem should be addressed by [insert recommendation that involves more affirmative action for women and more jobs for diversity bureaucrats].

  9. TG says:

    Economics as a science is utter rubbish. It has neither internal logical consistency, nor significant predictive power. Perhaps more importantly, most mainstream ‘economists’ don’t care that it has no internal logical consistency nor predict power.

    As a science, economics is right there with paranormal research.

    But for people who can provide a nice glossy excuse for the letting the elites drive everyone else into the ground so they can get even richer, well, the pay is good. You just need to have an utter lack of integrity and decency.

    Some of the biggest whores in economics started out as mediocrities – Allan Greenspan, Milton Friedman, etc. – then they discovered that saying whatever the rich wanted you to say in a convincing manner paid a high yield. The invisible hand!!!

    Economics COULD be a legitimate field of scientific research, it’s just that, right now, it’s not.

  10. Sociology and anthropology, whatever their failings, at least do not pretend to have the ability to predict the future. Economics, particularly that part of it that deals with econometric modeling, does. It also purports to advise us how to become rich. Rulers and the governing class therefore value it.

    Economists are today’s successors in the councils of the powerful to the positions occupied by astrologers and alchemists 500 years ago. Everyone back then wanted to know what the stars portended and how to fill the treasury with gold. Those who held forth the promise of knowing the necessary secrets never lacked for employment back then.

    It has taken only a little revision of the old mumbo-jumbo to recreate a generous demand for such practitioners.

  11. Tiny Duck says:

    Our society’s vaunted, so-called classical economics, such as that of the Chicago and Virginia schools, is of, by, and for a privileged white male elite and their enablers–and at the expense of everyone else.

    Economics as propounded in so many universities today is a dubious academic discipline that’s inherently hostile to all People of Color and women, even as it deceives the unwary into believing it’s adhering to a neutral and unassailable scientific method and representing a supposed natural state of affairs.

    A personal plea to Janet Yellen: Could you use your leadership to help us all take steps toward an economy that doesn’t rely on the exploitation of the weak, the vulnerable, women and People of Color? There will always be backlash among the powerful when you’re doing something right. I hope those in the Econ world with enough privilege to speak up continue to do so. Complacency and academic hand-wringing is how we often lose momentum.

  12. Stories of harassment and discrimination, long shared in private conversations and email chains, began to be aired more publicly last year with allegations that Roland G. Fryer, a prominent Harvard economist, had harassed and bullied women in his university-affiliated research lab.

    Yet another high-achieving black man comes acropper of MeToo. Somebody should study whether MeToo disparately discriminates against black men.

    I am totally confused. The NYT has taught me that accusations by white women against black men are just the racist rantings of privileged “Becky’s.” So aren’t we supposed to dismiss these racist accusers by giving them derogatory nicknames like “Harassment Harriet”or “Econ Emily.”

    I guess this is a case of Narrative Collision — #MeToo vs. “Beckys.”

    It looks like #MeToo won this round. (Although it won by default since the article omits that the accused perp is black — an otherwise odd choice in an article which is about the lack of diversity in the field).

  13. dearieme says:

    I understand that Economists flourish because Americans, in particular, like to do degrees in “Business” and that normally requires them to attend courses in Economics.

    As for Economics as an intellectual pursuit: my own suspicion is that Macroeconomics and Econometrics are essentially junk. As the Hollywood chap observed, nobody knows anything.

    Microeconomics seems to have virtues, but it’s essentially writing footnotes to Adam Smith.

  14. Kyle says:

    “Yet another high-achieving black man comes acropper of MeToo. Somebody should study whether MeToo disparately discriminates against black men.”

    It absolutely does. It’s also anti semetic. Me Too is the ironically selfish title of a moment which tries to blame men for the collective mistreatment of women. Black men sexually harass women at a higher rate than men of other races. Therefore I am confident that black men are me too’d at a higher rate than men of other races. Because it is politically incorrect to suggest that black people are criminally inclined, characterizing Me Too as racist would be the most effective way of combatting it.

    • Replies: @Mr McKenna
  15. If they would just take the math out of it and stop pretending it’s a real science, that would probably solve this terrible problem.

    Either that, or slice off a separate, non-quant discipline and call it Economic Planning. There could be whole departments in the private sector too. Oh…there already are: stockbrokers, mutual fund wholesalers, “financial specialists”…etc. Just add another title, Economic Planner, and foist it on the unsuspecting public.

    This could be like the distinction between Certified Financial Analysts and Certified Financial Planners.

    A rising tide lifts all boats. I sold mutual funds in the 1990s. Life was good and everybody made money. Then, stupid me, I finally realized that any S&P index fund would beat most of our managers. The managers were good, but the popularity of equities outweighed anything they did. When Americans are sold on the market, Americans buy the market. We just had our own brand of market widgets.

    Women, particularly young, slim ones who look good in skirts, can be great at financial planning. They should be the ones guided into the new field and become Economic Planners. They can have their own certification too. The hottest ones can even work for presidents and kings, “planning” the economies of entire countries.

  16. “The field of economics has been perhaps the biggest success story in the social sciences over the last half century or so.”

    At first, I didn’t realize that “biggest success story” translates to most successful scam. In terms of ability to guide policies that actually obtain desired ends, deriving and using testable mathematical models that actually reflect reality, and just having the feel of a real science, demography is by far the biggest success story in the social sciences. Unfortunately, demographers apparently lack the testosterone-driven chutzpah of economists and seldom achieve the heights of managerial and financial success that are so common among economist con artists.

  17. rufus says:

    Weber was a fuckin legend. Far more rigorous than this modern polemical stuff. Its devolved into these ecomometrics , blind you with science stuff. The metrics on securities work as evaluation, but everything else is diminished… Grrrr

  18. Arclight says:

    Economics has “long struggled with diversity” – kinda like the NBA, right? The difference is that people who appreciate basketball are happy to watch whoever happens to be the best and most entertaining, whereas in basically any other realm the dominance of one group or another is treated not as the product of talent to be appreciated, but a problem that must be hammered down by government or social pressure.

    Anyway, I always laugh when people say an entire field or just a company (like Apple) ‘struggles’ with diversity. It gives the impression that near-equal numbers of men, women, whites, blacks, whatever are putting forward their equally impressive credentials with some groups not getting a fair evaluation, when the truth is that the numbers of certain groups who even attempt degrees or positions in particular fields are below their share of the population in the first place so even if they had a 100% success rate the realm in question would still be ‘struggling’ with diversity.

  19. Notice how they don’t mention that Ronald Fryer is black, when he was the flavor of the month, er, flavor of the year(s) there were a lot of people who made that the first thing about him they mentioned. I think the Sloan Research Fellows website used as it’s introduction an image of Fryer until recently, because I believe he was the first and only black fellow they ever had. This is despite the fact that a who’s who of famous scientists and mathematicians have been Sloan Research Fellows over the years, Fryer was who they chose to highlight.

    • Replies: @International Jew
  20. Stories of harassment and discrimination, long shared in private conversations and email chains

    And each story gets better and more dramatic as it moves along the chain.

  21. L Woods says:

    They’re obsessed with (and have to a large extent succeeded in) flooding IR/security studies with women too. Not even going to proffer a comment on that one.

  22. Coag says:
    @Crawfurdmuir

    Current academic sociology and anthropology are alchemical disciplines too, and are strongly influential in our royal court. Official sociologists and anthropologists have a mystical understanding of the doctrine of Absolute Racial Equality, and use their arcane science to teach us how to transmute the base metal (Africans) into gold (A+ students). They direct billions from the national treasure toward the removal of impurities (racism) from the base metal and apply other powerful methods of distillation (positive self-image propaganda, IQ denialism) to complete the transformation of lead into gold.

  23. @Twinkie

    Yeah, I was thinking that myself. That said, I don’t know of any prominent women in Behavioral Finance. Seems to be an Israeli thing with Kahneman and Tversky.

  24. Econ has more math & therefore fits better with the ‘science’ part of social science that social science departments crave.

  25. Ibound1 says:

    We know exactly what feminized economics looks like. The below is real and there are other pictures which are not nearly so discreet. This is a professor at Cambridge. She has shown up at department meetings this way:

    [MORE]

  26. Anon[319] • Disclaimer says:

    I’ll believe this crisis when the NYT exposes Nobel winner Paul Krugman as one of these harassers?

    • Replies: @International Jew
  27. @Buzz Mohawk

    Actually, women make pretty good financial planners, which is much more about explaining things and holding people’s hands than about finance.

    But nature will not be denied. I’ve spoken to a lot of CFPs over the years. The guys are more than happy to discuss academic finance research. The women, not so much. They just don’t care.

    • Replies: @Buzz Mohawk
  28. Anon[171] • Disclaimer says:

    In recent years, however, a growing body of research has found evidence of discrimination at virtually every stage of the profession, from undergraduate enrollment to tenure decisions. Erin Hengel, a University of Liverpool economist, has found that women are held to higher standards of writing and research than their male colleagues.

    Ah oh. There is a “growing body of research.” This very popular journalistic phrase is a danger sign. Translation: There is no real evidence for the followoing bullshit assertion, but we are at the stage where a few weak studies have come out, yet we haven’t reached the stage where the adult supervision arrives and real research blows the idea out of the water.

    Let’s take a closer look at this. Who is Erin Hengel? “I am a Lecturer in Economics at the University of Liverpool.” So, an adjunct, British style? “I’m from Pine Bluff, Arkansas.” O.K., let’s get on to the part about “women being held to higher standards of writing and research than their male colleagues.” Here we are:

    http://www.erinhengel.com/research/

    “Publishing while female”: What a catchy title, very SJW. Female lives matter!

    I use readability scores to test if women’s writing is held to higher standards in academic peer review.

    Huh? So you run economics papers through a Flesch-Kincaid filter and separate them into “better” and “worse” papers. So like the Nobel prize winning papers would max out on the Flesch-Kincaid scale?

    Here’s an explanation of readability scales:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Readability

    So a readability scale judges text by looking at various things:

    — Reading ease, to wit:

    — Fewer words per sentence

    — Fewer syllables per word

    — Fewer prepositional phrases

    — Fewer “hard” words

    — More personal pronouns

    — Fewer unique words in document

    — More personal pronouns

    — World-shattering new ideas in the field

    Wait, that last one was a mistake, scratch it.

    I find: (i) female-authored papers are 1–6 percent better written than equivalent papers by men; (ii) the gap is almost two times higher in published articles than in their pre-print drafts; (iii) women improve their writing as they publish more papers but men do not. Within a subjective expected utility framework, I show that tougher editorial standards and/or biased referee assignment are uniquely consistent with authors’ observed choices. A conservative estimate derived from the model suggests higher standards cause senior female economists to write at least 7 percent more clearly than they otherwise would. I then document evidence suggesting higher standards affect behaviour and lower productivity.

    So, to summarize, women read more young adult novels and Harlequin romances and write to that level, so they are better than male economists, and yet are discriminated against.

    It wouldn’t surprise me to find that women are a little better at verbal skills than men at that educational level. But in economics, so what? Who cares? Economics is concerned with fiscal policy, game theory, competition analysis, supply and demand, opportunity cost, monetary theory, and on and on. The number of words per sentence has nothing to do with the quality of an economics paper.

    Erin Hengel has also jumped on the fewer citations for women bandwagon, which is circular reasoning: Women would be cited less because (1) their papers are weaker, and (2) the stronger female economists have probably been around for less time. You don’t get citations just because you use shorter words.

    • Replies: @International Jew
    , @res
    , @Kyle
  29. J.Ross says: • Website

    >in the simplified world of economic models
    Heh. Those invisible Russian hackers are causing people to doubt our institutions and not, say, brat-journalists who force every issue into a high school popular girl’s cafeteria invective. Sure is dumb of those master’s degree holding millionaires to trust those simplistic economic models. This is however a hair better than Amy Harmon’s stunning playing dumb bit where, on the one hand, James Watson knows a lot about a topic, and on the other inexplicably believes certain things (but definitely not as a result of his admitted knowledge), because bitterly clinging to outdated economic models is a real and frequently attested problem.

    • Agree: Redneck farmer
  30. Anon[330] • Disclaimer says:

    More like egonomics

  31. Anonymous[706] • Disclaimer says:
    @Altai

    You are promiscuously bashing at the edifice of “economics” which includes all the dolts who major in it or politicians making appeals to some variant of its authority, to argue that econ professors are themselves a joke. On average I don’t think they’re any less than other STEM faculty in terms of smarts. There is a tight supply of good (vs. bureaucratic make-work) jobs in academia. If you meet an econ prof at a 4-year university he already went through the gauntlet to get that position (unless he is just John Nash-level smart). It’s one thing to question whether academics are just propagandists now, something surely not limited to econ. It’s rather different to say the whole field is trash because a lot of empty-headed folks “major” in it and then go onto other non-intellectual work. In “Liar’s Poker” the author notes that no one at Salomon Bros cared about the content of any hire’s econ background, so long as they all majored in econ. It was like a rubric, a “standardized test” for leveling the personnel. (Also he was insecure as an art history grad.) ESPN’s Bomani Jones has an econ master’s degree, supposedly. So does Monica Lewinsky.

  32. I asked my wife the academic economist why women were a rarity in her field of work. Her politically incorrect response was that women are generally bored and unenthused by math. I don’t believe her sex has ever led to her being discriminated against in her work, it seems pretty meritocratic as far as I can tell. A fair number of academics have pretty flaky personalities across both sexes and those who rise to the top have a tendency to actively dump boring and time-intensive admin work on junior staff who are all competing with each other to publish well and also deal with the headache of teaching. Women being more eager to please, more conscientious and less willing to upset people thus become prime dumpees. I wouldn’t be surprised if that is driving the angst.

  33. Lot says:
    @Twinkie

    BE is kind of economics colonizing other social sciences full of dumber professors.

    • LOL: Twinkie
  34. @Twinkie

    Meh, it’s more “in” than it was when I was a grad student im the early 80s, but the highest-prestige fields are the same as then: macroeconomic-, microeconomic- and econometric theory.

  35. Anonymous[706] • Disclaimer says:
    @MikeatMikedotMike

    Sociology is unfortunately dominated now by storytime and feels, which may go back to the C. Wright Mills era actually. It used to have a stable clique that was downright reactionary (Banfield and Nisbet come to mind). Of course William Graham Sumner was the first to be designated a “sociologist.”

    Modern sociology researchers, particularly the chicks, tend to have the same skill set as a good producer of documentaries for the Sundance channel. Low IQ social workers take the college courses because, I guess both have “soci-” in the name…?

  36. @Hypnotoad666

    If this comment doesn’t warrant a separate isteve post, then nothing should.

  37. I would imagine that finance economics is very close to being the most lucrative field in all of academia. So it tends to attract the most hard-charging, money-minded academics, who tend to be … men.

    This is true. The big names in finance – particularly on practitioner side at mutual fund, ETF and hedge fund companies – are hard-charging guys. You’d think that they’re a bunch of nerdy academics, and those due exist, but it’s not the case for the majority.

    I could count on one hand the number of women who could withstand a verbal beat down by Cliff Asness.

    As usual, the NYT article doesn’t seem to notice that NE Asians seem to be overrepresented in economics and finance. And of the few women in the finance field, a rather large proportion of them are Asian. What’s more, a few of them are quite attractive.

    https://www.ifa.com/articles/DFA_Marlena_Lee_How_to_Measure_Value/

    As always, “Who, Whom” answers when under-representation is bad and when over-representation is good.

    • Replies: @PV van der Byl
  38. @TG

    And you make these generalizations after how much formal study of economics?

  39. @Crawfurdmuir

    Sociology and anthropology, whatever their failings, at least do not pretend to have the ability to predict the future. Economics, particularly that part of it that deals with econometric modeling, does.

    Dunning-Kruger Alert.

    Seriously: anybody who thinks that econometric modellers claim to ‘predict the future’ is either ignorant of the discipline, or is bullshitting for rhetorical effect (or both, but definitely not neither).

    I have yet to see a single econometric forecast that is not couched in all sorts of caveats – in effect amounting to something like

    If the world is like this model (it isn’t), and the inputs to the model turn out to match the future values of the things they represent (they won’t), then the future will look like this

    That’s why so much forecasting in the last 30 years has involved some attempt at UQ (uncertainty quantification); it’s why a well-performed forecast always includes a systematic sensitivity analysis – which is a formal way of saying “We know we’re going to be wrong, but we can have a decent guess at how wrong we’ll be under a range of plausible alternatives“. Again, usually couched in additional caveats.

    As I’ve said before: part of the reason I stopped being an econom[etr]ic modeller, was what happened when I extended the domain of uncertainty to “basically everything” (parameters, exogenous variable paths – the lot) in a bid to get a stronger quantification of uncertainty in a (very) large dynamic CGE model (although the results are equally horrifying for smaller macroeconometric and financial models).

    My approach had highly unsatisfactory consequences;
    ① it meant I could literally get any result I wanted from any moderately-complex model, without changing the inputs in a way that was statistically indefensible; and
    ② the caveats that ① required, would have been completely unacceptable from the perspective of the sorts of people who want forecasts.

    They don’t give a fuck about the statistical niceties, they want a point forecast (or a single path). Theywant to be able to issue a press release that says “Our modelling shows that a 25% tariff on imported steel will result in a 15.35% fall in widget production in South Carolina, which will cost 403 jobs.

    They are not even interested in the fact that if you use the mode of the exogenous (input) variables, the model does not give you the mode of any selected subset of the endogenous (output) variables (because the Hessian is non-constant even if the model is bijective).

    They don’t want to be told “Well, there are statistically-plausible configurations of the model in which the sign of [your favourite output] changes”.

    So… people like me – hyper-competent econometricians and econom[etr]ic modellers – generally refuse to participate, and nature hates a vacuum.

    So there is always MBA-having charlatans at consulting companies (and in bureaucracies) who deploy econometric models (usually badly, as befits the level of training obtained during an MBA) and then make declarative statements about the outcomes.

    That’s because there’s always a market for certainty, even if the certainty is the result of ignorance and hubris. It’s the same approach that sees CompSci grads deploying Machine Learning (glorified regression) and making declarative, unqualified statements about their outputs; it reflects badly on them, not on ML itself (or CompSci as a discipline).

    And guess where else UQ is now considered ‘important enough to think about implementing’? Medical research – the home of declarative statements made with small sample sizes and fuck-all replicability.

    Those MBA/bureaucrat motherfuckers have the same relationship to econom[etr]ic modelling, as megachurch preachers have to theology: very roughly in the same ballpark, but not remotely representative of the discipline qua discipline.

    .

    And on the flip side: declarative claims about the future, issuing from academic sociology (as practiced in the US in the 1950s-1980s), are directly responsible for the bulk of what is wrong with pedagogy today.

    And sociologists are (or were, circa 1995 when I last took an interest) at the vanguard of SJW nonsense, too.

    Here’s the thing: advocating for social change of the magnitude that sociology has advocated, is the same as making declarative predictions about the future.

    It is equivalent to “Run the whole of this segment of society the way we say, and it will be better – with probability greater than a coin toss“.

    That is a significantly bolder claim than, say “If you spend another $5 million advertising your toothpaste, you might get $5.5m in additional sales if the historical correlation between ad-spend and sales holds” – which is a fair representation of the type of problem that bad econometrics is used for.

    It was sociologists who made the baseless assertion that since education was correlated with income, public education should be extended to people who didn’t want it; this is the exact opposite of a sensible ‘supply constraint’ model of economists like Gary Becker.

    Sociological nostrums have influenced policy far more than quantitative economics has: economics can’t even get the political class to accept very basic propositions about intertemporal budget constraints or the benefits of (relatively-)free trade and flexible factor markets.

    And the influence of sociology is always in the direction of spending more on sociologists’ vanity projects – which has resulted in the waste of hundreds of billions of tax dollars, and millions of person years’ of people’s time.

  40. @MarkinLA

    What? You mean a field that is still arguing over the causes and cures of the Great Depression shouldn’t be taken seriously.

    Well, I never.

  41. @Ibound1

    Dude. You gotta put a warning label or something on this.

  42. @TG

    Economics should be a part of the History Department. It doesn’t work for predicting the future.

    • Replies: @gregor
    , @Art Deco
    , @LondonBob
  43. @Crawfurdmuir

    predict the future. Economics, particularly that part of it that deals with econometric modeling, does.

    Not so. Most applied econometrics concerns itself with explaining the past. For example, how much of the gender wage gap is explained by (1) hours worked, (2) time-outs to raise children, and (3) invidious discrimination. Prediction is a big thing only in macroeconomics.

    It also purports to advise us how to become rich.

    Nope. The notion of “efficient markets” is one of economics’ top five ideas ever, and its main lesson is that trying to beat the stock market is a waste of time.

  44. MarkinLA says:
    @Coag

    There is no money and acclaim in that. Imagine you are some not too well know academic and your ideas justifying some policy designed to game the system for a select group of people become part of some candidates or political party’s platform. Imagine your guy gains power, you get to parade around on the world’s stage like some poobah – think Laffer Curve, Jeffery Sachs, even PCR. They write books give speeches and get rich off their silly ideas.

  45. @dearieme

    Can’t seem to agree, but, yes, I’d agree that microeconomics – potentially – can be useful. I also believe that finance can be useful.

    Macroeconomics and, especially econometrics are bullshit. Macroeconomics should be a branch of the History Department.

  46. @Citizen of a Silly Country

    Exactly. Women are good at that. My joke is to expand that to include macro economies and business micro ones. Certified Economic Planners, CEPs, can hold the hands of leaders. All that has to be done is to sell the idea, and CEPs will start showing up in high places.

    When I was selling funds, I knew the president of the CFP board. He was there when the certification was created, so his was like Wilbur Wright’s pilot license. A regular guest on CNBC, he was a really nice guy and great at explaining things. He was as much of a horn dog as I was too, so he would no doubt understand my logic for steering hot girls to become CEPs.

    I volunteer to be the president of that board.

    • Replies: @Redneck farmer
  47. MarkinLA says:
    @Anonymous

    I think most econ majors start out as math majors and quickly find out they just don’t have what it takes – same as most CS majors.

    • Replies: @Anon
    , @Art Deco
    , @Anon
  48. Turn econ into yet another pink collar ghetto like so much of academia, and the hard chargers will migrate to some other adjacent field ….

    Pretty soon women will get first dibs on every indoor job that strikes their fancy. I’m finding it harder and harder to give a damn whether this system of ours collapses or not.

  49. @International Jew

    Steve,
    Something strange about the comments: this reply to Crawfurdmuir by International Jew is comment #1, while the comment it replies to is comment #11 below.

  50. @Unladen Swallow

    No one’s immune. But Fryer’s black privilege® got him coverage way more sympathetic than a white man would have gotten. For example https://www.nytimes.com/2018/12/14/business/economy/harvard-roland-fryer-sexual-harassment.html

    If you ask me, the real scandal isn’t about Fryer’s flirting, it’s with the absurd amount of Affirmative Action that powered this guy’s career — tenure at Harvard, highest-paid Harvard prof ($600k/year), John Bates Clarke Medal. All for a guy whose skill tops out at running regressions. A white man with his talent wouldn’t have even been admitted to Harvard’s Ph.D. program — not even close. His path — UT El Paso BA, Penn State PhD — is very atypical for a Harvard prof. (Penn State is barely a top-50 PhD program…)

  51. @Buzz Mohawk

    More financial geek girls, please!😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍

  52. J.Ross says: • Website
    @MarkinLA

    There’s two different things happening here: economics is the go-to way for respectable crackpots to prove their a priori political fetishes, but won that dubious crown because it does have some rigor.

  53. MarkinLA says:
    @International Jew

    The notion of “efficient markets” is one of economics’ top five ideas ever, and its main lesson is that trying to beat the stock market is a waste of time.

    Unfortunately that happens to be false. Just because if you look at the large number of trades and traders they have a normal distribution doesn’t mean there aren’t people who simply are better at trading in the markets and make money on a consistent basis. The market misprices things all the time. It overshoots on the upside and overshoots on the downside.

    https://www.businessinsider.com/warren-buffett-on-efficient-market-hypothesis-2010-12

  54. Twinkie says:
    @Ibound1

    Why is it usually ugly women who do this kind of a thing?*

    I went to a naked party once in college (I was dressed and had to disrobe if I planned to stay). All I saw were fat, ugly girls and hippie-looking bearded guys, so I shuddered and left.

    *The sole exception seems to be posh beaches in Europe.

  55. @Anon

    I yield to no one in my distaste for Krugman, but I don’t wish for him to fall victim to Me2 because his wife will kick his ass.

    • LOL: Buzz Mohawk
  56. @Buzz Mohawk

    I hope one day I can be as selfless as you when it comes to improving society.

  57. J.Ross says: • Website

    In the equally amusing and depressing first TV episode of Rumpole of the Bailey, Rumpole’s son disappoints the old lawyer by announcing his intention to study sociology (the son becomes a sociology professor, and teaches in … Florida). This probably reasonably reflects the conventional wisdom of the time (at least among media types): instead of dealing with criminals, we should work to understand them. Understanding feelings will somehow make rape less frequent. This idea is prominent among many things that haven’t aged well about that show, along with Rumpole’s inexhaustible patience toward property criminals, a version of the Allenism that they should rob us because of their own suffering.

  58. @Twinkie

    Why is it usually ugly women who do this kind of a thing?

    Since this is a thread about economics, I’ll say: supply and demand. The hot girls get a lot of demand for their bods, so they don’t need to give looks away for free. (They trade looks for, say, a big diamond ring from a successful man.)

  59. @Anon

    Hehe, nice research there. Thanks for putting in the effort.

  60. J.Ross says: • Website
    @Chrisnonymous

    Read Nyarlyathotep, accept that this kind of thing just happens, and above all don’t try to sort it out because then you’re guaranteed to have a bad trip.

  61. gregor says:
    @Citizen of a Silly Country

    Once upon a time, it was called “political economy” and was branch of philosophy.

    Greg Clark does economic history and his books are probably the most interesting Econ books I’ve read in the last decade. Nowadays Econ grad schools place an enormous emphasis on mathematics and econometrics (“physics envy”) and my impression is that going into economic history as a specialty is looked down on and not very popular.

  62. @Anonymous

    Thanks for stepping in and providing that reality check. The people venting about economics, while simultaneously proving they’ve had little exposure to it, are embarrassing themselves.

    • Replies: @MarkinLA
    , @Anonymous
  63. @Ibound1

    I would not recommend her for CEP certification.

  64. @Ali Choudhury

    Her politically incorrect response was that women are generally bored and unenthused by math.

    Your wife has hit the nail on the head. It’s the math. Great math-free contributions to economics have been made, are being made and will be made. Unfortunately, if you’re not pretty good at math (engineer-good, not physicist-good, though that won’t hurt at all) you just won’t survive year 1 at a top-ten PhD program. You have to take the triple-whammy of macro, micro and econometrics, and they’re laden heavy with math.

    The economics profession loses a lot of potentially great female and male contributors for this reason. Conversely, the profession is top-heavy with high-powered math weenies who aren’t all that interested in real economic problems. (Alas I was one of those weenies… So I’m guilty, but at least I know what I’m talking about.)

    • Replies: @Anon
  65. @Ali Choudhury

    My wife the mathematician is generally bored and unenthused by economics. Her interest in it focuses mostly on how much money we make.

    I note too, that she isn’t very interested in things like physics either. Those things fascinate me more than her, even though I don’t have near the math education she does.

  66. Bill B. says:
    @Hypnotoad666

    Very well done.

    But I still think you being too generous. Feminists and the left hardly bother any more to attempt to prove equal aptitudes they simply claim that fewer women in the field is evidence enough of discrimination.

  67. eric says:

    GREs at top 10 econ PhD programs correlate to about 142 in IQ. I bet it’s much lower in other social sciences.

    The basic fields of micro, macro, econometrics, game theory, and finance are all very analytical and w/o things that interest chicks. Labor and history are legitimate subfields with more women and always have been. Economics of climate change, African Americans, women, etc., are just payoffs to progressive agitators.

    • Replies: @International Jew
    , @Lot
  68. Bill B. says:
    @Buzz Mohawk

    Be careful. That looks to me like Titania McGrath.

  69. @Ibound1

    “Brexit? Brecccchh! Even if I hadn’t been an alky chain-smoking, heroin-hogging homo-sap*, that pic would have made me lose my Naked Lunch.”

    – William S. Burroughs @philipmorris

    “Looks like a Naked Ape ready to chimp-out on the male of her species. As the supply-sider Ronald Reagan might have said, ‘Looks like a hippy who smells like Cheetah.’ Me Tarzan, You no Jane Goodall!”

    – Desmond “Tutu-Philip” Morris & Edgar Rice Burroughs

    *”homo-sap” – so very, very sorry about any intimations of homophobia, but will try to make up for it with some more pointless Nabokovian references – which should include, of course (nope, never finished “Lolita”, and yes, Dr. Bateman is no “nymphet”), not only the ape sketched by VN in the Jardin des Plantes of Paris, but also the famous (I would never have heard of it without musings by Hugh Fitzgerald) feud between Edmund Wilson and Vlad with respect to the latter’s English language translation of “monkey” as “sapajou” in Pushkin’s “Eugene Onegin.” Btw., when push kin kumtoshov, the only way I can approximate a Russian pronunciation is to remember, On Donner, On Blitzen, On Reagan, Onegin…

  70. Anon[171] • Disclaimer says:
    @International Jew

    Apparently, some university economics departments are reclassifying themselves as STEM programs, or splitting into STEM and non-STEM halves.

    This partially comes down to an immigration scam: Foreign students, the source of bucks for universities, because they are full tuition, can get an extra two years added to their visas after graduation if they major in a STEM program.

    https://www.insidehighered.com/admissions/article/2018/02/19/economics-departments-reclassify-their-programs-stem-attract-and-help

    Changing the formal classification — what’s known as the federal CIP code — for an economics program from the one for “economics, general” to the one for “econometrics and quantitative economics” means that international graduates of those programs can work in the U.S. for two extra years after they graduate while staying on their student visas.

    That gives them two more years to try to wrangle an H-1B visa.

    Pomona, Yale, and MIT have made this change. U Wisconsin/Madison says it’s losing undergraduates to graduate programs that have the STEM designation.

  71. If anything is going to save economics from caving in the face of the discrimination-against-females racket it’s that the arguments and evidence against it are bread-and-butter economics: preferences, competition, comparative advantage, etc.

    Imagine social justice warriors decided one day to go to war against quantum physics. They might pick up some followers in Sociology, but the physicists would be a real, real tough sell.

    • Replies: @Anon
    , @Mitchell Porter
  72. @eric

    GREs at top 10 econ PhD programs correlate to about 142 in IQ.

    You sure? Could you show us your work? It doesn’t seem nearly that high to me…

    • Agree: Mr McKenna
    • Replies: @eric
  73. MarkinLA says:
    @International Jew

    I base my derision on the constant failures of people betting on it’s theories – the real world versus the imaginary one created in the academics mind.

    • Replies: @International Jew
  74. @Citizen of a Silly Country

    “I could count on one hand the number of women who could withstand a verbal beat down by Cliff Asness.”

    LOL!

  75. Anon[171] • Disclaimer says:
    @MarkinLA

    The best strategy for a would-be economist is to major in math as an undergraduate, with some econ “breadth” courses. Then apply to an M.S. or Ph.D. program in economics. The masters program can be used to catch up on some econ stuff missed as an undergraduate, or if that’s not necessary, go directly to a Ph.D. program.

    This trick works for other fields in the social sciences, even some humanities fields, if you can handle the math as an undergraduate. If you want to be a sociologist, get a math B.A. and a sociology Ph.D. In almost any field quantification will be useful, now or in future subfields. It is much easier to pick up knowledge about a social science by reading a few books and working with an advisor than it is to pick up math that way.

    Depending on the field, you may substitute physics, chemistry or another hard STEM subject for your undergraduate major. I think the initial advances in genetics were highly math based, so that’s another general area where the math undergraduate degree route might be best.

  76. @Kratoklastes

    So… people like me – hyper-competent econometricians and econom[etr]ic modellers – generally refuse to participate, and nature hates a vacuum.

    So there is always MBA-having charlatans at consulting companies (and in bureaucracies) who deploy econometric models (usually badly, as befits the level of training obtained during an MBA) and then make declarative statements about the outcomes.

    You are chiding me for not making fine distinctions between your kind of econometric modeller and all the others of whom you disapprove as charlatans. The charlatans are quite widespread and give the rest of you a bad name. Our government both takes the charlatans seriously and lends them credibility by so doing. It is a major employer of such persons.

  77. A Tucker Carlson interview just aired with former Obama economist Austan Goolsbee of the University of Chicago. The topic was AI and automation replacing not just manual jobs, but also white collar positions. Carlson told Goolsbee that, in light of economists’ failure to predict disasters like 2008, Tucker would be happy if computers replaced economics professors.

    • Replies: @MarkinLA
    , @LondonBob
  78. Anon[171] • Disclaimer says:
    @International Jew

    Imagine social justice warriors decided one day to go to war against quantum physics. They might pick up some followers in Sociology, but the physicists would be a real, real tough sell.

    I think that you underestimate the social justice warriors.

    I’m an obsessive reader of the Chronicles of Higher Education and Inside Higher Education, reading between the lines. They periodically write about “reforms” in STEM education. “Reforms” usually mean watering things down to improve “equity,” which mean equality of outcome and proportional representation.

    They do this partly by intimidating professors, tenured full professors. The administration is run by social justice warriors or those in fear of them. They can cause big trouble even for tenured full professors. You can lose assignments, be forced into reeducation camp seminars, threatened with bias investigations, and so on.

    “Wash out” courses are being eliminated, the really hard courses that would-be STEM majors take early on. These are designed to be a dose of reality for students who don’t have the right stuff, so they can change majors before running up a lot of student debt. But now, more and more you can get really deep into the major even if you are not up to snuff.

    Group projects with group grading are increasing, to obfuscate the ability of individual students.

    Open book and take home exams are increasing, and some classes explicitly allow students to cooperate on take-home exams.

    Testing tutoring is given to black and other students, and the tutors, backed up by administration, agressively ask the professors to tell them what will be tested. Then students are tutored on recipe style problem solving for the specific stuff to appear on the test.

    When you think about it, it is probably true that most STEM academics do not need to be ultra geniuses. Personality and basic knowledge is enough to teach undergraduate classes and to advise the typical graduate dissertation. So I don’t see an initial crisis. The loss is that we depend on these academics to be high level so that once in a while one of them will come up with something very important. If you don’t have the talent there in the first place, these rare birds are not going to be around to give us their Eureka discoveries, and intellectual progress will stall out.

  79. Anon[171] • Disclaimer says:
    @Ibound1

    Ron has provided us with an “Insert MORE Tag” button for use in composing comments. Please use it before photos of naked women. Like this:

    NSFW photo follows.

    [MORE]

  80. MarkinLA says:
    @Buzz Mohawk

    I think so many of our major F-ups have been associated with economic theories that gain traction in public policy or when something in the markets ran away and had to be saved by the taxpayer.

    Remember all that talk about “the new paradigm” by economists during the dot com bubble justifying the stupid valuations? Remember Long Term Capital Management that needed a bail out when they kept doubling down on the Black-Scholes model? Wasn’t the 2008 bust due to some obscure mathematical theory that Wall Street bought in it’s pricing of derivatives? Remember it was economists that sold the government on the idea that Glass-Steagal was no longer needed.

    • Replies: @Buzz Mohawk
    , @LondonBob
  81. Economics often assumes perfect conditions. Economists think that people make rational decisions—when in reality they make decisions based upon cultural preferences, family traditions, personal foibles,…a whole long list. Economists are the Libertarians of the social science world.

  82. @Kratoklastes

    Seriously: anybody who thinks that econometric modellers claim to ‘predict the future’ is either ignorant of the discipline, or is bullshitting for rhetorical effect (or both, but definitely not neither).

    Yes, this is quite true of the good ones. But plenty of people disregard the caveats and no one stops them.

    That’s because there’s always a market for certainty, even if the certainty is the result of ignorance and hubris.

    This. Holy Christ, do people want to believe. The deep, deep desire for certainly is incredible. And people are none too pleased when you try to explain the limitations of models and data. They’d much rather listen to some swarmy douch tell them about how some strategy/model is foolproof.

    If I really wanted to make money, I’d sell people dumbass shit and wait for it to crash. When it did, I’d just find a new set of suckers, or I’d go back to the old suckers and tout the one model of the ten that worked. They’d love it.

    It’s the same approach that sees CompSci grads deploying Machine Learning (glorified regression) and making declarative, unqualified statements about their outputs

    Preach, brother, preach!

    Medical research – the home of declarative statements made with small sample sizes and fuck-all replicability.

    Oh yeah. But it’s true all over. Factor zoo, indeed.

    https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=2961979

    And the influence of sociology is always in the direction of spending more on sociologists’ vanity projects – which has resulted in the waste of hundreds of billions of tax dollars, and millions of person years’ of people’s time.

    Knew an econ PhD candidate once who said that he totally screwed up his own career. You see, his research showed that government programs didn’t help them and, in fact, often hurt things. Well, he said, how do you think that goes over when I apply for grants or to work for government agencies? There are only so many libertarian think tanks and professor jobs. The rest of the money/jobs are with the government or NGOs. Why would the government/NGOs fund/hire academics who say that most government spending is wasteful.

    I shit you not, this guy was seriously considering changing his research to be more government friendly.

  83. @dearieme

    None of the Macro models work, there isn’t enough, and never will be enough data. Of course, I flunked my macro qualifier three times, so there’s that.

  84. @Anon

    I don’t know enough about the other fields, but economics shouldn’t be an undergrad major. You’re not teaching a kid anything of value other than, I suppose, how to think, but you can teach someone how to think and teach them something useful.

    • Replies: @International Jew
  85. Lot says:
    @Anonymous

    “an econ master’s degree”

    Many good universities’ terminal econ master programs are easy-admission cash cows, and the students there wouldn’t make it into the undergrad college or Ph.D. program.

    • Replies: @Anon
  86. Lot says:
    @Twinkie

    “The sole exception seems to be posh beaches in Europe.”

    Monaco has the poshest beach in the world. The women who took advantage of the topless option when I visited were about 60 years old on average.

    I have never been to our local nude beach, but the reports from those who have align with the party you described.

    • Replies: @Twinkie
    , @Pericles
  87. gregor says:
    @dearieme

    Basic economics is really worthwhile, imo. It’s a particular lens that is useful for understanding the world. Supply and Demand, Opportunity Cost, Comparative Advantage, Diminishing Marginal Utility, Time Preference, Principal-Agent Problem, Moral Hazard, Adverse Selection, Monopsony, Compensating Differentials, Natural Monopoly, Public Goods. These are all really good concepts to know. At a more advanced level, they use mathematical versions of a lot of these concepts. Imo this is worthwhile (calculus for example works well to capture the “marginal” concept). There are also plenty of interesting ideas from the 20th century. Coase theorem and Game Theory for example. The Econ lens is a good one, but it has a lot of blind spots (race, for example) so it should be balanced with other perspectives.

    “Econometrics” is pretty much just statistics, primarily regression analysis and other common statistical tools. People can of course use these tools to produce junk results, but I don’t think it makes sense to say the tools themselves are junk. Statistical work is pretty much the only way you can do any empirical work, including in micro. “Econometrics” could be used for anything from estimating elasticity of demand for different commodities to some sort of data mined financial econ or macro model with thousands of variables.

    Macro is by far the most questionable area. The op-Ed economists do not even agree on basic factual questions (e.g., If we do X, will Y go up or down?) to say nothing of analytical questions or matters of preference. It’s seems pretty clear in most cases macro recommendations are little more than political opinions. Looking at the historical record (particularly the bailouts and too big too to fail nonsense) I don’t think there’s a lot of confidence in the economic experts. And for the last several decades the economists have been telling us virtually unanimously that we need “free trade” and liberal immigration, i.e, globalization of capital and labor markets.

    So I guess I more or less agree with you.

  88. Lot says:
    @eric

    Ceiling issues with the GRE will understate IQs at the very top econ PhD programs (physics and math too).

    • Replies: @International Jew
  89. Twinkie says:
    @Lot

    When I was in Scandinavia young man, I saw some attractive young females in various states of undress on beaches. Though, yes, there were also old (and frequently overweight) folks.

  90. @International Jew

    Look, I’m a big fan of index investing (it’s best for 95%+ of people, maybe 99%+), but “efficient markets” while a useful model is more than just a tad wrong.

    The disproving of CAPM proves that. The fact that with stocks, risk (volatility) does not equal reward (return) destroys efficient markets. (Again, that said, I still believe that people are better off using index funds.)

    CAPM is a very pretty model. It just doesn’t work. Of course, all models don’t work, but some are useful. Efficient markets, i.e. just buy the market, combined with low costs, i.e. use index funds to buy the market, does work. It’s good enough.

    Beating the market is about understanding why other investors would be willing to earn less because trying to “beat the market” is a zero-sum game. In order for you to do better, someone has to do worse. Why would a person willingly earn a lower rate of return?

    Well, turns out that there are several reasons why. Is that “beating the market”? Not really. It’s more earning a premium for taking on either a risk or, far more often, an emotional discomfort that others are unwilling to bear.

    Perhaps I’ve countered my own argument. Maybe the markets are efficient. It’s just people that are inefficient.

    • Replies: @International Jew
  91. Anon[366] • Disclaimer says:
    @Twinkie

    Why is it usually ugly women who do this kind of a thing?

    She doesn’t seem bad to me. I checked out her videos, cute voice and face much better when she’s not scowling. And she has an hourglass figure and hips that look like they could pump out several sets of breach triplets.

    • Replies: @duncsbaby
  92. @Anon

    I really, really, really wish I had not pressed that “[MORE]” button, and I’m working from home, way after hours.

    • Replies: @Lot
  93. Ibound1 says:
    @Anon

    Thanks
    I picked what I thought was one of the more modest poses. Anyway I’m sure she’s a fine economist.

    • Replies: @Pericles
  94. Anon[108] • Disclaimer says:

    Poor women and non-Eskimos.

    Too many pushy and arrogant Eskimo males in Economics.

  95. eric says:
    @International Jew

    don’t have it handy, but remember looking at that data point about 10 years ago out of self-interest. Most students were 98-99 % in quant/analytical GRE back in the day. Things are changing, however, with an explicit interest in diversity objectives.

  96. res says:
    @Anon

    Thanks for reading that so I did not have to. Pathetic.

  97. Svigor says:

    Somebody should study whether MeToo disparately discriminates against black men.

    No need to study the Jewish angle, though; #MeToo is obviously an anti-semitic pogrom.

  98. @MarkinLA

    I remember.

    Economics is a noble effort to understand or manage terribly complex systems and to predict so-far-unpredictable things. Maybe it is where meteorology was hundreds of years ago and will get better.

    Problems arise when people ascribe too much power to a tool that doesn’t have it. A shovel is not a backhoe.

    • Agree: Twinkie
    • Replies: @MarkinLA
  99. Svigor says:
    @Twinkie

    I remember asking my dad many, many years ago, which field of study would he choose to understand perfectly. He said “economics.” I said, “I’d take psychology.” He said, “nah, people are easy to understand; we still can’t figure out economics.” I remember thinking, “yeah, but if we actually understood people, we’d understand economics.”

    • Replies: @Twinkie
  100. MBlanc46 says:

    It’s the HypnoToad666 template. He should sue.

    Economics successful? Joke from Mme B:

    Q Why are there weathermen?

    A To make economists look hood.

    • Replies: @Reg Cæsar
  101. eric says:

    The funny thing is classical economists like Paul Samuelson were esteemed because they were ‘smart’, ie, had an insane IQ. Every old professor had a story about some interaction with him that was like some von Neumann anecdote. Students needed 99ile quant/analytical scores to be interesting because the faculty all loved that. Yet while they prized IQ in students and colleagues, they never pushed it in research.

    Thus the 1995 hit piece (ie, commissioned) on The Bell Curve about the relevance of IQ in one of their flagship journals, the JEL, by Heckman, a high IQ Aspergery type, who complained that since IQ and demographic metrics (eg, parental income) were correlated, it was impossible to attribute anything to IQ. Of course, if true, economics would be pretty useless because everything is correlated and so any one factor is therefore correlated with other factors…there are ways of dealing with this, which is the usual focus of econ when not addressing IQ.

    • Replies: @Art Deco
  102. Kyle says:
    @Ibound1

    Thanks for directing me to that, the video is much better. She has astounding breasts, those are not fake. She also has a fantastic box. Cambridge matriculation is now a dream of mine.

  103. anonymous[291] • Disclaimer says:

    Successful? In a meta sense–prestige, money–maybe.

    But the real story of econ is what a failure its been at what it tries to do. Its an absolute joke, like someone set up an elaborate, interminable rube goldberg parody of science.

  104. Kyle says:
    @Anon

    She may have a point with readability. Fewer words per sentence is better. It’s a result of superior vocabulary and less run on sentences. Readability is a problem throughout academics or thru out as many of you dingbats would say. I could elaborate, I’ve been contemplating the poor quality of writing in isteve comments.

    • Agree: BB753
  105. Are there any economists like Steven Goldberg, Ernest van den Haag, or Pitirim Sorokin, sociologists all?

    The world of economics resembles a Mad Hatter’s tea-party where all the crockery is smashed at the end of the festivities so that the economy can be boosted by the necessity of buying a whole new tea-set. In fact conventional economics already has a name for such a necessity. It is called planned obsolescence.

    –Joseph Pearce, Small is Still Beautiful: Economics as if Families Mattered

  106. I dislike your last sentence: ..”will migrate to other fields..”. What other fields??? Soon there will be no where to run. We must stand and fight!

  107. @MBlanc46

    Q Why are there weathermen?

    A To make economists look hood.

    The Weathermen were way more ‘hood than any economist. Except maybe Marx.

  108. gregor says:

    It’s a shame because anthropology and sociology really should be great and useful fields. The Bell Curve is fundamentally a work of sociology. The Coleman Report and the Moynihan Report are two other examples of good sociology. La Griffe du Lion also. Anthropology could be great if it was mostly guys like Harpending and Cochran.

    Here are some relevant comments from a Jonathan Haidt interview.

    The academic world in the social sciences is a monoculture – except in economics, which is the only social science that has some real [viewpoint/political] diversity. Anthropology and sociology are the worst — those fields seem to be really hostile and rejecting toward people who aren’t devoted to social justice.

    For many years now, there have been six sacred groups. You know, the big three are African-Americans, women and LGBT. That’s where most of the action is. Then there are three other groups: Latinos, Native Americans …. and people with disabilities. So those are the six that have been there for a while. But now we have a seventh–Muslims. Something like 70 or 75 percent of America is now in a protected group. This is a disaster for social science because social science is really hard to begin with. And now you have to try to explain social problems without saying anything that casts any blame on any member of a protected group. And not just moral blame, but causal blame. None of these groups can have done anything that led to their victimization or marginalization.

    There used to be this old game show when I was a kid, called “Beat the Clock.” And you had to throw three oranges through a basketball hoop. Okay, that doesn’t look so hard. But now you have to do it blindfolded. Oh, now you have to do it on a skateboard. And with your right hand behind your back. Okay. Now go ahead and do it. And that’s what social science is becoming.

    https://www.mindingthecampus.org/2016/02/03/a-conversation-with-jonathan-haidt/

    Of course, one thing that Haidt doesn’t touch (and maybe even obscures) is the Jewish angle. I’m reading a book on Madison Grant by historian Jonathan Spiro and it discusses the fight between arch-WASP racialist Grant and liberal Jew Boas for soul of anthropology. This is also a big part of the story.

  109. gregor says:

    Anthropology is a pretty broad field and at least some areas of it still seem to do legitimate science. This guy for example is a paleoanthropologist.

    Archaeology is also considered part of anthropology (at least in the U.S.). And while I’m sure archaeology is somewhat pozzed there’s surely some real work still being done.

  110. Alchemy evolved into chemistry.
    Astrology evolved into astronomy.

    What will economics evolve into?

  111. @MikeatMikedotMike

    Sociology is more feminine because it is softer, deeper and more receptive to different points of view.

    Especially receptive to diversity, for which
    our multi-hued progeny will forever be grateful.

  112. @Hypnotoad666

    How many generations will pass while the leeches feast upon the corpse of everything we’ve built up for countless generations? How long until the Chinese (and others uninfected) will simply own our society and become our slave-masters? I, for one, welcome them because they’ll be a whole lot more rational than the SJW/POC ascendency which now holds sway. Not to mention leagues more productive.

    Won’t be fun, though, or even terribly civilized. That’s over.

  113. @Anon

    Ha, you made me click!

    I’ll take the clothed woman on the left, over the nekkid one on the right.

  114. @MarkinLA

    Name one of those economic theories, that people bet against and win.

    • Replies: @MarkinLA
  115. @Kyle

    Black males constitute around six percent of the population, and Jewish males just over one percent. Together the two groups make up around what–75 or 80% of MeToo Accused? Talk about Disparate Impact! They’d better get to work on this one before someone figures it out.

    Of course, if we dare to factor in the endless molestations of underage girls by our latino immigrant class, the game will be over before it begins.

  116. @Citizen of a Silly Country

    The CAPM and the Efficient Markets Hypothesis are two different, in fact independent things.

    Wikipedia absolves me of any duty to say more 😉 but I’ll throw in one tidbit you’ll find interesting: the CAPM is untestable — even in theory. (That’s the “Roll critique”.)

  117. Twinkie says:
    @Svigor

    yeah, but if we actually understood people, we’d understand economics.

    If wishes were horses, eh?

    Rational choice theory is wrong. People are mostly irrational with a thin veneer of reason that is often coopted to rationalize the former.

  118. Lot says:
    @Jus' Sayin'...

    Why so negative? That’s a rocking body for a dowdy middle aged professor.

  119. Anon[168] • Disclaimer says:
    @Lot

    In general I think that master’s degrees these days tend to indicate early withdrawal from a Ph.D. program, either washing out of it, or leaving for a job (as with James Damore and Google).

    Bryan Caplan in last year’s “The Case for Education” figures out that a master’s degree is the only level of education that has a negative return on investment for all types of student.

    • Replies: @Art Deco
  120. bjdubbs says:

    Nobody ever remembers a complicated theory, but they can remember really simple theories like “efficient markets” or “incentives matter” or “dollar printing causes inflation.” Sociology and political science have more nuanced theories so they’re hard to remember and hence don’t stick in the mind and get repeated. That’s also why econ blogs are a thing and sociology blogs aren’t.

  121. Anonymous[178] • Disclaimer says:

    More and more I’m convinced that most ‘professional economists’ are pathological liars who prostitute their academic specialism in order to justify their own deeply held political viewpoints. No more, no less.

    The same, in fact, as most ‘social scientists’.

  122. “Stories of harassment and discrimination, long shared in private conversations and email chains, began to be aired more publicly last year with allegations that Roland G. Fryer, a prominent Harvard economist, had harassed and bullied women in his university-affiliated research lab.”

    If one data point is enough, where’s this story?

    A former New York University professor and outspoken advocate for women’s empowerment has been arrested for allegedly stalking and harassing her ex-lover, chief Citigroup economist Willem Buiter.

    According to police officials and court documents, Dutch economist and educator Heleen Mees, 44, sent Buiter – a married father of two – more than a thousand emails over the course of two years, which included photos showing Mees pleasuring herself and other sexually explicit images.

    Missives from Mees to the world-renowned economist allegedly contained threats as well as sexually charged language.

    The charges were apparently dismissed on condition Ms Mees received therapy. Ms Mees was in January 2018 appealing, claiming that the ‘naked selfies’ were in fact covertly made recordings of her Skype communications with him.

    • Replies: @Pericles
  123. duncsbaby says:
    @Ibound1

    My very English mother always told me, “Don’t take tea with CRA-ZEE.”

  124. duncsbaby says:
    @Anon

    Yep, I agree she’s got a good curvy figure & doesn’t have unsightly blemishes or disfigurements. I would be awfully tempted but . . . CRAY-CRAY.

  125. Jan says:

    Just a modern incarnation of the Court Jew.

  126. @Tiny Duck

    Suppose that the West today does not rely on the exploitation of the weak, the vulnerable, women and People of Color, but instead exploits the base population of Western countries to obtain political support from these groups. Plausibility argument? Compare with the treatment of rely on the exploitation of the weak, the vulnerable, women and People of Color who are not the majority Color of the region in question. (e.g. Uyghurs in the PRC, Europeans sub-Saharan Africa, even Christians and Jews in Muslim countries, etc.). And if there is no Truth, then plausibility arguments (or perhaps raw emotion) are all that is left.

    If such groups are favored, then major changes in the West would most likely reduce that favor, simply from regression to the international mean. (The West would become more like the average of humanity, something you in particular seem to favor). One can see signs of that right now. The ethnic competition that dominates non-Western countries is currently in process of dominating the Democratic Party.

    And if you really do want Combat, Glory, and the Loot of Empire (CG&LoE), it should be pointed out that looted capital plant can’t produce much, Zimbabwe being the current best example of that. The result of the CG&LoE policy would be ethnic groups squabbling over the looted site and wondering why the supermarkets are all closed.

    Counterinsurgency

  127. @International Jew

    Please google “diversity in physics” and tell me what you think.

    • Replies: @International Jew
  128. Honestly think Europe & it’s offshoots would have been better off if the idea of ‘Economics’ had never happened.

    In my early days as a ‘right wing extremist’ I used to feel that Sociology was the Great Satan but as a mature wingnut I feel that Economics is worse. And it attacks from all angles (Communism and its various ‘SJW’ offshoots for leftoids; ‘Free market open borders Glob’ for the Washington Consensus rightoids; both attaining religious fever dressed up as phony ‘historically inevitable’ sciences by their followers).

  129. Anonymous[426] • Disclaimer says:
    @International Jew

    According to many in the iSteve commentariat recently, everyone in physics research is working in string theory, and everyone in economics research is working in macroeconometrics.

  130. Major7 says: • Website

    I’ll admit I’m a word nerd, and I love coming across words like “acropper.” In other words, I had to look that one up, because I’ve never heard or read it. As a public service to other word nerds, here’s the definition:
    come a-cropper
    To fail badly. “Cropper” comes from a horse’s croup or crupper, the part of the animal’s back behind the saddle. Someone who parted company from his horse (an involuntary dismount, so to speak) was said to fall “neck and crop.” That became “come a-cropper,” first appearing in the foxhunting author Robert S. Surtees’ 1858 novel Ask Mamma: [He] “rode at an impracticable fence, and got a cropper for his pains.” The phrase was picked up and applied to any misadventure, equestrian or otherwise.

  131. You’re just seeing it from the standpoint of the extracted, hardcore, pure merit of individual men and a few women. Through their work alone, women like Nomi Prins can hold their own with males at the top of the field. They don’t need a grievance movement to prove their worth, but many women do, especially since so many of the professional, white-collar jobs are non-essential.

    You aren’t taking into account the practical reality of men thriving in disciplines valued by the marketplace, marrying educated women who soak up the lower-paying, but more stable, positions in government and big business, keeping those positions despite protracted amounts of absenteeism during their childrearing years that, even in tiny increments, would get any non womb producer fired and fired fast.

    It is old-fashioned, aristocratic cronyism in a new wrapper.

    After they have kids, dual-earner parents have a crony job network, solidying their non-job-creating, relative wealth through above-firing, absenteeism-friendly careers.

    Rather than taking risk in business to create jobs, they consolidate two of the scarce jobs with good pay & benefits under one roof, condescending the middle class into an upper middle class that borders on wealthy, rather than increasing the size of the overall middle class by dispersing the good, salaried, non-job-creating jobs over more households, with one parent at home doing the work of raising the kids, as opposed to leaving that work to underpaid daycare workers or retired-in-name-only grandparents.

    Many “needs-the-job” parents in dual-earner households are accommodated by society in holding non-merit-based, absenteeism-friendly positions all through their working years, enjoying two streams of earned income that enable an upper-middle-class lifestyle, in addition to tax credits for womb productivity, etc., and at retirement, they have two SS streams and two pensions / 401ks per household. They get all of that without taking economic risk to create additional jobs, even though the work of one earner is often superfluous as well as absenteeism-friendly.

    America did not have majority dual-earner households when there was a strong, growing middle class, with a viable Republic, instead of an oligarchy with an elitist, dug-in, static civil servant / corporate back-office class of “busy working” parents.

  132. Economics as a science thrives under an essentially inflationist Keynesian state for the same reason eugenics thrived under the Nazis.

    As a whole the field is a bought and paid for group of apologists for the statist status quo, as Rothbard’s so eloquently wrote even about Buchanan and Tullock’s Calculus of Consent, a supposedly then heterodox work.

    The government bought and paid for the MIT school of economics that produced Samuelson in order to manage the war and then justify the entrenchment of its interventionist policies after WW2.

    The “science” is now used at the Fed to justify policies that enable the debt based state and allocate wealth to those who already have it.

  133. @International Jew

    Well, I certainly don’t want to go against Wikipedia. 😉

    Yeah, I’ve heard of Roll’s critique, and it’s fine. Basically, it showed that the evidence underpinning CAPM was flawed. You’ll never have a perfectly diversified portfolio, so CAPM is untestable. But people still used CAPM, figuring it was good enough. (It really wasn’t which is why French and Fama came up their 3-Factor model.)

    And, you’re right, CAPM and EMH are independent theories. I was conflating two things that I shouldn’t. My bad. (Hey, I’m shooting from the hip here.)

    That said, they both rely on the assumption of rational investors. (They also assume that all information is instantly reflected in asset prices and no transaction costs.) CAPM builds on the assumptions of EMH.

    This brings us back to index investing – which, I’ll state again, is a blessing to investors. Your typical investor associates index investing with a cap-weighted index fund, particuarly the S&P 500, so when I say index investing, I’m talking about cap-weighted index funds. (Now, index funds can represent a myriad of other choices, but for 99% of people, this is what they’re talking about.)

    Index investing is built on the foundation of CAPM and EMH. Markets are very efficient and thus difficult to beat. Thus just buy the market and move on. OK, but what you mean by the market. How do we implement this strategy.

    Well, most investors want to maximize expected return while minimizing the potential for bad luck to produce a shortfall, i.e. they want the highest returns for the lowest volatility. Investors are looking for mean-variance optimization.

    How to achieve that?

    Well, use CAPM. CAPM is mean-variance optimal when market beta is the only compensated risk. Therefore, under CAPM, a porfolio is MV optimal when each asset’s weight in the portfolio is proportional to its market beta. As a result, a market-cap weighted portfoliois MV optimal.

    And thus index investing as we know is born to the parents of CAPM and EMH.

    Unfortunately, CAPM doesn’t work. Market beta has no relationship with stock returns. CAPM is wrong and everyone know it – and has known it for decades. Yet, index investing remains built on CAPM.

    So, I should have just stated that CAPM doesn’t work. I actually believe that markets are pretty efficient. As to “beating the market,” I think that’s more of a definitional thing. What market are we talking about? Are we talking about absolute or risk-adjusted returns? What timeframe?

    If I beat the S&P in some fashion using a levered trend system, is that beating the market?

    My point is that index investing as done by most people – while great and probably better than anything else that they’ll use – is provably sub-optimal. Now, whether your average Joe could actually improve their returns, I say probably not.

    Personally, I’m multi-asset dual momentum guy. Simple, cheap and kick-ass Sortino/Sharpe ratios.

    • Replies: @International Jew
  134. @Tiny Duck

    Economics as propounded in so many universities today is a dubious academic discipline that’s inherently hostile to all People of Color and women

    Except that many economists promote open borders, endless immigration and diversity, because they maintain that flooding the U.S. with brown people suited mainly for stoop labor allegedly “helps the economy.”

    They also propagandize us with the claim that capitalism and markets have bypassed institutional sexism and racism by giving opportunities to women and minorities. Like how Sears in the old days sold goods from its catalogs to Southern blacks by mail order that these blacks couldn’t buy from local white-owned stores that didn’t want their business.

  135. @Citizen of a Silly Country

    Well, I certainly don’t want to go against Wikipedia.

    No offense intended. All I meant was, this stuff is covered in Wikipedia so there’s no need for me to repeat it here.

    Yeah, I’ve heard of Roll’s critique, and it’s fine. ..You’ll never have a perfectly diversified portfolio, so CAPM is untestable.

    Sorta. More exactly: the “market portfolio” — the entire universe of assets — isn’t something anyone can readily trade. Stocks and bonds, no problem. But real estate? It’s lumpy and comes with big transaction costs. This isn’t a nitpicky detail because real estate is the biggest part of most people’s balance sheet.

    But people still used CAPM, figuring it was good enough.

    Yes, but I’ll add a second, more cynical reason: it’s easy to teach, and makes for easy-to-correct problem sets and exams. Finance profs can go on autopilot for two weeks.

  136. Pericles says:
    @Lot

    If the beach also admits arabs, and of course it does, you inevitably get various sex crimes.

  137. @Citizen of a Silly Country

    economics shouldn’t be an undergrad major. You’re not teaching a kid anything of value other than, I suppose, how to think, but you can teach someone how to think and teach them something useful.

    I beg to differ. Economics is a terrific thing thing to study in college. And today more than ever, because learning to “think like an economist” is the best antidote to some of the political idiocies of our day.

  138. Pericles says:
    @Ibound1

    Looks like she dearly needs a husband but can’t figure out what’s wrong.

  139. Pericles says:
    @YetAnotherAnon

    Sounds like the therapy didn’t quite take.

  140. @Lot

    When I took it, the GRE topped out at 900 (rather than the SAT-like 800), and 900 was deep into high-99th-percentile land.

    But that was then and this is now. Today, a perfect score is “merely” 99th %tile in verbal, and a paltry 97th in math.

    The best part of the old (or old-old) GRE was called “analytical reasoning”. It wasn’t math, but logic puzzles. Some of them were pretty hard.

    • Replies: @Lot
  141. Art Deco says:
    @Anon

    You’re speaking of master’s degrees in academic subjects. The vast majority of those obtaining master’s degrees are obtaining an occupational credential and the master’s is the terminal degree for anyone not angling for a career in teaching and research.

  142. Art Deco says:
    @MarkinLA

    I think most econ majors start out as math majors and quickly find out they just don’t have what it takes – same as most CS majors.

    I’ll wager you that’s seldom the case. Economics departments will use the intermediate micro and macro courses to weed out prospects. I’m sure you can find a refugee from the math department here or there, but I cannot recall encountering one personally.

  143. Anon[366] • Disclaimer says:
    @International Jew

    I beg to differ. Economics is a terrific thing thing to study in college. And today more than ever, because learning to “think like an economist” is the best antidote to some of the political idiocies of our day.

    That’s an interesting way to put it. I have a law degree, and I definitetly “think like a lawyer” in that, for instance, I cannot read a simple news article without dissecting it as though it were an appellate decision or complaint or piece of evidence. I look for every fact claimed and who the source was for the fact, weight the source, and try to put everything into a timeline.

    Reading Bryan Caplan’s book last year, which was essentially an extended solved economics problem, I can see how, for instance, had I taken some economics courses, I would try to convert evertything to its dollar equivalent, however non-monetary it seems, and weight it against everything else.

    It might be interesting to construct an undergraduate course of study whose aim is to help students “think like” professionals in a number of fields when confronting life.

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
  144. @International Jew

    Yeah, I was a bit quick there. Point conceded. However, it does depend somewhat on having a good professor.

    Let’s say that it would make a good minor. 🙂

    Actually, I even throw in a bit of defense for the really squishy liberal arts. Please, please, somebody teach young people how to write. English, history, etc., does force kids to write.

  145. @International Jew

    No offense intended. All I meant was, this stuff is covered in Wikipedia so there’s no need for me to repeat it here.

    None taken. I meant what I said.

    Sorta. More exactly: the “market portfolio” — the entire universe of assets — isn’t something anyone can readily trade. Stocks and bonds, no problem. But real estate? It’s lumpy and comes with big transaction costs. This isn’t a nitpicky detail because real estate is the biggest part of most people’s balance sheet.

    100% agree. Privately held RE, as well as privately held businesses, make a true global market portfolio impossible. That said, I believe that most investors should use index funds to create a global capital markets portfolio, basically as close as you can get to global market portfolio. (As someone once joked, it incorporates the biases of everyone in the world.) A global capital markets portfolio produces very good long-term returns and, of course, is extremely diversified. I believe that there are a few ETFs/mutual funds out there offering it up in one package. Nobody uses them, but they should.

    Yes, but I’ll add a second, more cynical reason: it’s easy to teach, and makes for easy-to-correct problem sets and exams. Finance profs can go on autopilot for two weeks.

    Ha. That’s true. Incentives matter – a great economic lesson.

  146. L Woods says:
    @Citizen of a Silly Country

    “Squishy liberal arts” will soon be able to stand equal to the much vaunted “STEM” degree — not of course because the former will regain its former rigor, but because the latter is falling to the poz as we speak.

  147. @Ibound1

    There’s something very poignant in that photo about the juxtaposition of the portrait of a British worthy on the wall, in formal wear with a solemn countenance, and the hideous nudity of a modern British female “scholar” with an unnervingly-forced pseudo-grin on her face.

  148. BB753 says:
    @Altai

    “Economics is the alleged science of describing how the economy works and this may be used to ‘improve’ (Improve for whom?) it.”

    Just like Political Science is the alleged scientific study of how political institutions work. Instead, it’s just wishful thinking. You just can’t describe how our society actually works. It’s simply verboten, taboo. Today you can’t tell the truth in academia and deal with facts anymore.

  149. Art Deco says:
    @Citizen of a Silly Country

    Very few economists (if any) undertake archival research. Some undertake historical study, but they are fully conversant with the tools of which economists make use (which historians are not). An important part of their work is trying to construct historical datasets, something few historians do.

  150. Art Deco says:
    @Jim Bob Lassiter

    She might have taken as few as five courses to be awarded that ‘minor’. Principles, intermediate macro, intermediate micro, introductory stats, and a 300-level course in international trade. I’ll wager she decided to add the minor because the IR major required she take international trade and international monetary economics and she had to do an introductory sequence as a prerequisite.

    • Replies: @Jim Bob Lassiter
  151. Art Deco says:
    @eric

    Paul Samuelson was an adherent of the neoclassical synthesis, not classical economics.

  152. Lot says:
    @International Jew

    LSAT still has a very high ceiling. 120-180 scale. 180 is about 99.97 percentile. This is contrary to Taleb’s argument. Law schools care to know if applicants’ score is 98th, 99th, 99.5th, or 99.9th percentile.

    • Replies: @International Jew
  153. @Lot

    Interesting. Maybe that’s because there’s no such thing as an undergraduate law major, so the law schools need this independent assessment of potential. Whereas if you apply to a top PhD program in economics, they can learn everything they need to know about you by chatting with a professor or two that you did research with. Every economics prof at one top-ten department knows a few people at every other top-ten department. Your GRE score isn’t going to make much difference unless you went to an obscure college (which is rare).

    • Replies: @Anonymous
  154. @Citizen of a Silly Country

    Let’s say that it would make a good minor.

    Much of what passes as Steve’s brilliance reflects his background in economics. At any rate, this is pretty clear to me.

    I don’t know what Steve’s undergraduate major was but we know he got an MBA and you can get a terrific economics education in those two years if you go to the right school (which he did) and you pay attention in class.

  155. @Anon

    It might be interesting to construct an undergraduate course of study whose aim is to help students “think like” professionals in a number of fields when confronting life.

    Good idea.

    • Replies: @International Jew
  156. Anon[400] • Disclaimer says: • Website
    @MarkinLA

    Econ prof here. Econ major students almost all start as econ majors. More common to go to math or comp sci from econ cuz people develop an appreciation of applied math and then see how its worth the work.

    • Replies: @International Jew
  157. No; no, economics is not more lucrative than sociology because of any masculinity. Next question, please.

  158. @Steve Sailer

    I don’t think you can teach someone how to think like an economist, without actually teaching him a lot of economics. I can’t say I was “thinking like an economist” until I’d been at it for at least six years! Same goes for math (a field I got into pretty deep), and I suspect a lot of fields I don’t know anything about.

    But you could probably teach someone how to think like a black/wymyns/latinx studies major: I’d suggest one month of paranoia, one on how to write turgid prose that doesn’t say anything, and one of voodoo.

    • Agree: Dan Hayes
  159. @Anon

    True that, but of the best econ majors, it seems most started in math or thought about starting in math. And in the top econ graduate programs, you’ve got a lot of students with math BAs. (I was one of those people!)

    I’m not saying that’s a good thing, though.

  160. @Mitchell Porter

    Of course, but that’s because the rationales for “diversity” and the stories about discrimination cut against fundamental principles of economics, not of physics. As I said, if those rationales (somehow) violated the principles of quantum physics, then instead of economics being (somewhat) immune, it would be physics that was immune.

    • Replies: @Mitchell Porter
  161. @Citizen of a Silly Country

    No one cares. With tee-vee and twits and the Age of the Polyglot Shithole, CEOs, marketing directors, etc. on down – the people who really, of all people, should lnow how to write – have the literacy and compositional skills of sixth-graders (if they are among the best). Even academics in literature and English make up nonsense terms and push word-salad (“realness,” “criticality,” “xir’s lived experiences which transcend the objective to create what are facts for xir…”).

    Read reports, memos, and electronic mail – oh, God, the electronic mail! – in the highest echelons of corporations: sentence-fragments, run-on sentences with shitty, if any, punctuation and grammar leave one wondering what the Hell was meant. Even résumés – résumés! – read like the candidate’s third-grader composed them: all buzzwords and double-talk, poorly written, conveying nothing, with an error of basic spelling, punctuation, grammar, or even capitalisation in every other line. I cannot tell you how many people who design integrated circuits are expert ethicists: “principle engineers” all over the Santa Clara Valley will assure you they have “excellent writing skills.” Uh huh.

    English – and communication at all – is no longer valued or taught because no one is left – among the teachers or the employers – who even realise what’s been lost. Those few who may, probably see it as a feature, not a bug. Steve’s written about that final bit: of you cannot communicate or even mentally put a thing into words, well, you likely won’t notice it; your very ability to organise your thoughts fades.

  162. LondonBob says:
    @Citizen of a Silly Country

    Don’t know about that, money supply figures always deteriorate before a slowdown, problem is they work with a six to nine month lag so only as we enter the slowdown can we start determining how big it will be. As for the current global slowdown we don’t see a pick up yet with the slowdown actually intensifying in H1 2019, on the plus side this won’t be like the financial crisis as we know the banking system is well capitalised and there aren’t the same euphoric bubbles to pop everywhere.

    Of course the key insight of economics is that central planning doesn’t work, the free market is best.

    I also remember being taught that the Euro wouldn’t work in school and university, Mundell’s optimum currency area, and it hasn’t.

    That said I prefer the Austrian School’s logical deduction style to the fad of econometric scientific certitude, too many physicists invading economics. Behavioural economics and behavioural finance are well justified innovations, as is applying principles of IQ etc.

  163. LondonBob says:
    @Buzz Mohawk

    Don’t know about that, I work in the financial markets and it was well known that there would be a nasty financial crisis at the end of the noughties bubble.

    http://business.time.com/2007/07/10/citigroups_chuck_prince_wants/

  164. LondonBob says:
    @MarkinLA

    As When Genius Fails shows the guys at LTCM were just doing random highly leveraged trades and had stopped using a rigorous ‘scientific’ approach to their investments. They had become dart throwers, albeit ones with PHDs.

    Investment Bank lobbyists and donations persuaded your corrupt government to dispense with Glass Steagal.

    • Replies: @MarkinLA
    , @MarkinLA
  165. MarkinLA says:
    @International Jew

    That isn’t the same thing. Just because some stupid economic theory fails doesn’t mean there is somebody else betting against it. They just happen to be on the other side of trades and take advantage of the other sides weaknesses.

    If you remember Long term Capital Management that used the Black Scholes garbage that won them the phony Nobel Prize. Remember they started losing money and kept doubling down until the Fed had to step in and bail the system out. You could say people were betting against the theory but what they were really betting against was someone too blind to see they were mortally wounded and the sharks were circling.

    • Replies: @PV van der Byl
  166. @Art Deco

    That sounds about right. What do want to bet that she can’t find Syria on an unlabeled map of the world’s nations either ?

  167. MarkinLA says:
    @Buzz Mohawk

    I don’t think you can ever truly have social science for the simple reason that there are NO human interactions that are similar to mathematics axioms or laws of physics that create a foundation that everything else can be based on. For social science to actually be a science people have to almost always behave rationally. Now define rational.

    I believe were some attempts to see how people would behave under conditions that economists believed rational to them – each person maximizing their individual gain. Peoples sense of fairness overrode their desire to get as much as possible. They would rather the other guy get nothing than them be cheated even if it meant they also got nothing.

    In addition, peoples actions are transformed by the market until so many catch on that the market is changed. We saw this in the inflation of the 70s. Early on, some people realized they could get rich buying real estate with no money down and did so. Soon it becomes so widespread that it causes it’s own problems, usually by the time everybody has purchased one of those get-rich-quick-in-real-estate courses where the only people getting rich are the guys selling the courses.

    • Agree: Buzz Mohawk
  168. @MarkinLA

    LTCM’s failure had nothing to do with options or the Black-Scholes formula. They never had significant positions in options st all.

    As LondonBob explains above (#167), LTCM blew up because of highly leveraged bond trades. They might as well have been trading soybean futures.

    There are many option models now in use but all have their foundation in the original Black-Scholes insight.

    • Replies: @MarkinLA
  169. MarkinLA says:
    @LondonBob

    Not sure I buy that. Every “scientific” approach to the markets eventually fails, and in a spectacular way. The markets are distorted by too many people addopting these scientific methods until they no longer work. The difficulty is in seeing the failure before it happens.

    As for public policy, there always has to be some rational behind the push. That is where the bought and paid for academics come in.

  170. MarkinLA says:
    @LondonBob

    Another reason why I don’t buy that story is that these guys were originally making a ton of money. They became the toast of the town and celebrities bragging about their success. They really did believe that what they were doing was science and not just capturing lightning in a jar. I doubt they would just start making random trades without any basis. That just doesn’t make sense.

    Now it is possible that since their secret was well known, the market had responded to them and had taken all the value out of their models to the point they were basically useless and they didn’t want to just shut their fund down and take their money and run. Then I could see them continuing to operate to generate more fees.

  171. @International Jew

    OK, I get it now. I thought you were just saying, physicists have high epistemic standards and won’t easily believe the rationales for social-justice agitation…

    As for whether e.g. economics departments, and employers of economists, might use economic reasoning to resist calls to hire more women, wouldn’t any such argument rely on assumptions from outside of economics?

    • Replies: @International Jew
  172. @Mitchell Porter

    Only the assumption that firms want to be successful!

    Take for example the argument that invidious discrimination is unlikely to play any significant role in hiring or in pay: that such discrimination leaves money on the table for any firm willing to hire these underpaid and unappreciated women/blacks/hispanics, and that firms that don’t discriminate will be able to undercut discriminatory firms and drive them out of existence.

    Every economist either knows that argument already or is able to grasp it immediately because it grows so naturally out of his intellectual toolkit.

  173. MarkinLA says:
    @PV van der Byl

    Well not according to this:

    https://www.bbc.com/news/magazine-17866646

    Scholes was even part of LTCM, of course like all economists, he blames everything else but his ideas.

  174. Anonymous[375] • Disclaimer says:
    @International Jew

    The LSAT still has a section called “analytical reasoning” which is informally known as the “logic games” section. Sounds like this is basically what the old GRE’s “analytical reasoning” section was.

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