Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Where Economics Went Wrong$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

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

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM PRINCETON SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.princeton.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Princeton University Press, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in PRSO for personal use.date: 28 May 2022

Economic Policy Becomes a Science

Economic Policy Becomes a Science

The Rise of Welfare Economics, and the Chicago Alternative

(p.82) 6 Economic Policy Becomes a Science
Where Economics Went Wrong

David Colander

Craig Freedman

Princeton University Press

This chapter explores Chicago's interaction with the mainstream of economics that conditioned its emergence. The catalyst to the postwar change was the mainstream adoption of welfare economics, which drew policy implications directly from economic theory. Composing a new approach, it directly specified what the “optimal” policy should be. This measure of decisiveness was in stark contrast to Classical Liberal methodology. For a Classical Liberal economist, policy did not follow directly from scientific economic theory. Instead, economic science and theory provided a useful tool that shed light on policy problems, but, on its own, had no immediate policy implications. These consequences could only be determined once one considered all the issues, not just a subset covered by economic theory. As a result, policy had to be deliberately separated from science.

Keywords:   economics, welfare economics, Chicago, economic theory, Classical Liberal methodology, economic science, policy problems, science

Princeton Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs , and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us.