Economists Are Rediscovering Humility —and Humanity

Field should be seen as an art, not a science
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 26, 2010 5:00 AM CDT
Economists Are Rediscovering Humility —and Humanity
The models economist built not only failed to predict the financial crisis, they actually made it worse, Brooks writes.   (AP Photo/Shizuo Kambayashi)

The failure of economists to spot the financial crisis in advance is causing soul-searching that will redefine the whole field, writes David Brooks. The cutting-edge models economists built over decades ignored the complexities of human nature and economists are now rediscovering the humility of an earlier time and trying to learn from psychologists and sociologist, Brooks writes in the New York Times.

Economists are now "taking baby steps into the world of emotion, social relationships, imagination, love and virtue," Brooks writes. In the years to come, he writes, the field will return to being a "subsection of history and moral philosophy" that keeps other contexts in mind when attempting to make predictions. Economics will reemerge as an art, not a science, he predicts.
(More David Brooks stories.)

Get the news faster.
Tap to install our app.
Install the Newser News app
in two easy steps:
1. Tap in your navigation bar.
2. Tap to Add to Home Screen.