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Road to Sociology Watch, 7/7
John Cochrane swims against the tide
A group of economists recently posted a petition to the American Economic Association, that it move its annual meetings away from New Orleans this year and Texas next year, because of those states' abortion laws. If you're an economist interested in our -- so far -- leading professional society, you should read and consider the whole petition.
…I favor of free abortion access. Our objection is to the AEA going deeper down the rabbit hole of politics in either direction.
Right after the Dobbs decision was announced, our synagogue held a special service to “mourn” the reversal of Roe. I just don’t understand why people on the left who participate in non-political organizations insist that those organizations take political stands. It is a strange phenomenon. But it seems consistent with the theory that the left just cares a lot more about politics than the right.
I have said for years that economics is on the road to sociology. I mean by that two things, one good and one bad.
The good thing is that economists seem to be easing up on the rigid requirements to use optimization calculus to express and render obscure their ideas. Perhaps one day we will see major journals written mostly in understandable English.
The bad thing is that the profession is rapidly becoming as extreme left as sociology. Cochrane is 64. I think his is the last generation of economists to include a significant libertarian or conservative cohort. When they’re gone, there will be no one left in top tier economics departments to make the case for markets or for politically neutral research.