Saturday, February 12, 2005

Economics is potentially hazardous to your social acceptability - Alchian and Allen


WARNING: Economics is potentially hazardous to your social acceptability. Extensive exposure to economic analysis is dangerous for immature persons or any whose resistance to new understanding is not yet fully calcified. It may dispel illusions, reduce myth retention, immunize one to political oratory, alienate friends, disrupt social conversations, allay fears of market systems, curb self-serving speech, and create unknown dismal side effects. Initial dosages should be by prescription under continuous monitoring by an expert. The instructor disclaims liability for damages from misapplication or uses not in strict accord with principles stated herein.
Rating: PG
(The above statements are submitted to conform with consumer protection, product liability, and occupational hazard laws and to disclaim any liability arising from implied warranties or guarantees.)
Alchian and Allen, 1983


Anonymous Acad Ronin said...

What I find particularly sad is the number of MBAs at even a prestigious business school that don't like economic analysis or even markets, for that matter.

12:29 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well we aren't the most loved of people...But the sheer parsimonious nature of our analysis does force itslef on every discipline, and this also explains why many hate us!!! I was an Econ major at AUS and i am now doing my MBA there. What i have realized is that Economists and Business specialists require different mindsets. Whereas Economics concentrates on the big picture embodied in a model, business majors tend to get bogged down with minute and immaterial details which can be done by any lower calibre executive. Another difference is that Economics emphasis a critical thinking approach using basic tools such as demand and supply. Business disciplines on the other hand, expand theory to the point that memorization and attention to small detail are emphasized. An example would be that when you grab any business text book, rather than using one frameowrk to analyze the environment being investigated, it just asserts endless lists of points to memorize about each phenomenon, most of the points i find so simple and obvious that one could reach these conclusions without the need for a college degree. Business books also lack an emperical and mathematical drive (with the exception of finance). This is what distinguishes Economists fromt the rest.

2:36 PM  

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