Wednesday, December 12, 2007

'Like Latin, Ricardian economics is dead'

All explanations arise in social relations - as Sir Geoffrey Vickers argued they give rise to our standards of fact and value and our ‘relationship maintaining or breaking’. Moreover all explanations arise this way but some are conserved over longer time frames than others. Explanations also ‘enter our bloodstream’ as we live our lives – throughout our biological and social development. Maynard Keynes’ oft quoted remark that in his experience those who claimed to be practical men (sic) were usually victims of some theory 30 years out of date is a variation on this point.

Klaus Krippendorff also points out how oppressive certain theories, or more precisely 'theorizing', can be. In this light Martin Fell has written an insightful article pointing out how the conservation of certain economic theories, in this case the theory of comparative advantage explicated by David Ricardo in 1817, is part of 'the terminal disease suffered by economists'! See this image.

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