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Where Economics Went Wrong$
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David Colander and Craig Freedman

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780691179209

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: May 2019

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691179209.001.0001

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Ashes and Diamonds

Ashes and Diamonds

The Rise of the Chicago School

(p.51) 4 Ashes and Diamonds
Where Economics Went Wrong

David Colander

Craig Freedman

Princeton University Press

This chapter examines the postwar Chicago School. Understanding the transformation that defined the Chicago School, and the way in which that transformation slots into broader changes within the profession, requires an accurate sense of the mood prevailing in the postwar era. Under the sway of the postwar methodological upheaval, economic policy strayed decisively from its Classical Liberal abode in moral philosophy. Instead, it eagerly attempted to forge a more desirable alliance with the newly refurbished and rigor-saturated realm of economic theory. Given the progress of mathematics, quantification, and the increasing application of statistical analysis, theories were now thought to be validated through careful econometric testing. This idea of adhering strictly to a scientific policy approach defined the emerging postwar generation of economists, especially those enrolled within the cadre of young academics. Under this modern dispensation, policy had been transformed into simply another occasion to practically apply precise scientific methods.

Keywords:   Chicago School, postwar era, economic policy, Classical Liberalism, economic theory, econometric testing, scientific policy, scientific methods

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