Hi, Veeky Forums

Emberfire
Emberfire

Hi, Veeky Forums. Never posted here and not sure if this is the right place to do so, so sorry if it isn't.

I've recently become more motivated to learn about economics but don't really know where to begin. Specifically, I mean economic theory. I have a grad degree in philosophy so I don't think I'll have trouble with any of the abstractness but I've come to recognize how much a lot of my political views depend on economic assumptions I'm making.

If you have any recommendations, I'd greatly appreciate it. Preferably, I'd like something that isn't highly partisan. I want to get a grasp on the variety of ideas out there and the debates that go on between and within different theories.

All urls found in this thread:

google.com/#q=why economics is not a science

PackManBrainlure
PackManBrainlure

how good are you with math? That's the meat and potatoes of most economic argument.

Much of the argument is the shape of these 4 lines.

Learn accounting and Finance to learn about Price.

Learn a little logistics and actuarial math to understand supply

Learn Marketing and Persuasion to understand demand

Learn a little Game theory and Law to understand supply.

+++++++++++

The first assumption every economics text says they assume perfect knowledge of all participants & act rationally. Which is fine for models, but in real life this assumption screws people over.
opposed to all of marketing and behavioral science which says most people are fucking idiots and will rationalize any stimuli despite its injurious nature and knowledge.
i.e. smoking doctors, fat dieticians, lotto winners instantaneously jumping into and losing 7 figures very quickly.

Either way there is a lot of complete bullshit that economists get away with b/c they have simply no idea how people will react.

BlogWobbles
BlogWobbles

That's the meat and potatoes of most economic argument.
Only if you want to know the proofs behind the theories. If you learn the theories and learn the abstract concepts behind them, you can avoid the math.

Specifically, I mean economic theory
That should NEVER be the end-game for anyone interested in economics. In fact, the dogmatic adhering to theory is exactly what holds the field back. The only thing theory is good for is helping you understand the mechanisms behind empirical economics, which should always be what you're aiming for.

DeathDog
DeathDog

Eventually, when you study economics, you reach a point where you learn the following:

Economics has no method to predict, control, or even anticipate a change in consumer preferences

The goals of a science are:

To understand phenomena
To predict phenomena
To control phenomena

When you come to understand this, and also understand that economists just slap assumptions onto what they think the market prefers based on their cultural assumptions, you begin to hate economics.

t. former economics student

massdebater
massdebater

Just start studying micro followed by macroeconomics. Bam. You have a general understanding of everything economic related. At least that's how it is in my university.

likme
likme

Patently fucking false. You would at that point have only an educated layman's understanding.

TurtleCat
TurtleCat

The goals of a science are:
To understand phenomena
To predict phenomena
To control phenomena

This is completely subjective. The first part is the ONLY requirement of a science.

Stupidasole
Stupidasole

Sure thing mr economic expert. But he asked where to begin. Now stop acting like you know everything about your degree just because you done it. You probably passed all your exams with the lowest grade.

Soft_member
Soft_member

y-y-you probably aren't smart!

Fanny flustered.

idontknow
idontknow

Thanks. Are there any economists who account for our irrationality? I've always thought it was obvious that people, on the whole, largely follow their emotions regardless of how rational they think themselves to be.

I'm not interested in learning economics so that I can do dogmatic table pounding. I agree that without empirical data we're blind but I'd like to know about different theoretical approaches to the data, which I think is just as important since the data alone won't prescribe anything.

I don't think that's necessarily a problem. We value, or at least I value, things that aren't sciences. It just tells me that we need to be on guard against treating economics as a science.

I think his conditions for what counts as a science are imprecise but good as a first approximation. If you say the only requirement of a science is to understand phenomena, wouldn't it follow that literally every discipline involving inquiry is a science since they're all aimed at understanding some domain of phenomena?

Poker_Star
Poker_Star

You wouldn't be so butthurt if the only moment that you had to use your economic degree hadn't been when discussing economics on a burmese rice varieties discussion board.

Techpill
Techpill

Economics isn't really concise math - it's just a handful of models that crudely, sort of, kind of, fit together.

Economics is a psuedo-science because, well, it can be proven wrong. I was in an undergraduate economics class in 2008 when my graduate student TA was telling us how the 2008 housing market bubble burst proved one of the models in his graduate class wrong.

If you're interested in economics, skip that math part and learn the basic theory behind it. I'd recommend "Economics in One Lesson" by Henry Hazlitt. It covers a variety of topics. It's written at a beginner's level. I'd suggest staying way from deeper concepts because I've found the deeper you go, the muddier the science.

Carnalpleasure
Carnalpleasure

is a psuedo-science because, well, it can be proven wrong

That would actually be a scientific aspect of economics though, wouldn't it? Scientific theories, or many of them anyways, are believed to be true because, in part, none of the data falsifies them. When a theory is falsified, it's modified or abandoned.

Emberburn
Emberburn

accusation of being unemployed in my field of study
attempt to demonstrate power level

You're a cutie =3

TurtleCat
TurtleCat

=3

How's being a NEET working out for you?

BlogWobbles
BlogWobbles

Well that's the difference between a theory and a fact.

Let's look at the science of psychology, for example. We can use devices likes biopsies, MRIs, & X-Rays to observe the brain. We can collect data. We can actually observe neurons firing and neurotransmitters and see how the mind works. We can observe dopamine being released by the brain which causes pleasure. I can go on and on.

Economics just isn't observable and isn't backed by hard fact. Sure we can collect data... we can survey people within an economy, we can create data about the general behavior of people... but at the end of the day there can always be a paradigm shift that undermines our understanding, because it's just not based on hard facts.

DeathDog
DeathDog

Economics not being based on facts wasn't the first point you made though, and even if it were, you'd actually be contradicting yourself since something being falsifiable entails it being based on facts (so you'd be saying that economics both is and is not based on facts). The point you made was that it's not science because it's predictions can be falsified but that's often true of science and is a valuable feature of science.

The example you give of neurology is actually support for my point. We observe correspondence between dopamine levels and pleasure and we conclude that dopamine causes pleasure. If, however, we were to start observing instances where the correspondence no longer holds, we will need to adjust our conclusion by adding conditions for when dopamine causes pleasure or by identifying some other cause because our previous conclusion was falsified.

farquit
farquit

google.com/#q=why economics is not a science

Here maybe you can find something that can better articulate why economics isn't a science than I can explain.

I took several economics classes in my undergrad and they left sort of a sour taste in my mouth. But, I'm a CPA... I like things cut and dry, and I'm better with numbers, not words or arguments.

5mileys
5mileys

you need to learn calculus and calc based statistics to really understand even the basics of the modern theories

FastChef
FastChef

Abstractness in Economics?

Great degree you got yourself there champ, I am sure it's worth the student debt.

JunkTop
JunkTop

Implying I'm a NEET

This whole business is pretty lulzy.

BunnyJinx
BunnyJinx

We value, or at least I value, things that aren't sciences. It just tells me that we need to be on guard against treating economics as a science.

Except almost everyone who you deal with within the field of economics are going to behave as though it is a science because they believe that it is one.

Garbage Can Lid
Garbage Can Lid

I don't think that's necessarily a problem. We value, or at least I value, things that aren't sciences. It just tells me that we need to be on guard against treating economics as a science.

What about economics makes it not a science to you?
Science is a systematic study, how does economics not fit with that?

Quantum mechanics appears random and chaotic, does that make it not a science?

Spamalot
Spamalot

I got that impression. I still think it's worth learning something about economics though. I can learn about without falling under the illusion that it's science.

happy_sad
happy_sad

Philosophy is systematic in many ways but it isn't a science. Being systematic isn't enough to make something a science. If it were, you could start counting things like astrology and other obvious pseudo-sciences. It's hard for me to say whether or not economics is a science since I don't have a good grasp of economics but most of the people I know who do have a good grasp of economics and science have been dismissive of the idea of economics as a science. To be honest, I really don't know but I've been primed to think that it isn't.

Gigastrength
Gigastrength

Quantum mechanics is not a science. It is a theoretical sub-discipline of physics, which is a science.

Just keep in mind that you'll be considered a heretic if your viewpoint is discovered.

Stark_Naked
Stark_Naked

What are you guys background in economics? I'm asking because I'm getting my masters in a few months (august) and want to know where I should look for employment. I went to an average state school which I'm sure matters.

I've been looking at jobs as a Data Analyst which seems to pay good. It looks like I would have to learn some SQL so I know how to work with databases. I've taken some courses in Finance/Accounting so I've also been looking for jobs as a financial Analyst. Any advice would be appreciated.

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