The Economics Profession of the Future?

Elinor Ostrom

I’ve just received the following email.

Following the October announcement that institutional economists Elinor Ostrom and Oliver Williamson had been awarded the 2009 Nobel Prize in Economics, the following comments were posted on the “Economics Job Market Rumors” blog, which is read by economics PhD students, post-docs and young faculty:

Needless to say, the contributors are anonymous.

With a few exceptions, this blog sadly reveals the ignorance, disciplinary narrowness, and sexism of the commentators. Does this betoken the next generation of leading economists?

Material in square brackets has been added by the editor of this document. Some of the more crass contributions have been removed.

Nobel BULLSHIT!!!! Who the fuck are these idiots? Never heard of them … ever. What kind of bullshit is this? This year is the worst.

Seriously! Are you putting these two on par with Hansen, Fama, Tirole, etc.? I don’t understand this year’s pick. Really bad. I agree

Well, they had to give it to a woman at some point. Why not just throw a dart at a board. I never saw their work on any reading list during PhD.

A stupid Nobel pick to accompany a stupid job market this year. Our field is falling apart.

Never heard of Ostrom in my life. Lame.

All you guys need to READ MORE. The market rewards multidisciplinary work more and more.

This girl seems to be a political scientist. I dont think she has published original research in any major economics journal.

Wow, that was stupid. There were rumors that they were under pressure, since a woman has never got the award.

Multidisciplinary?? Other disciplines are all rubblish [sic]. Why let them conteminate [sic] our purity?

Economics is superior. Don’t let political science conteminate [sic] us!

She has an EJ, two JEPs, two JEBOs and a couple more of that sort. Enough for tenure between the top 100 and 200. There are scores of women with much better records and much better known contributions to economics. Of course, polsci doesn’t have its own award, so perhaps she merits the Nobel for her contributions there.

why don’t you read about her contribution instead of just counting publications and talk about rankings. These are imperfect measures of impact or quality of published work.

The fact that most of us have not heard about her says enough about her contributions.

Sorry. The fact that NONE of us have not [sic] heard about her says enough about her contributions.

This is the problem with Affirmative Action: last time a woman tried to go to the moon, the Challenger exploded 73 seconds after the launch. now, this is the end of Economics.

Seriously, this is a sensible and insightful award to an original and careful researcher whose work is widely cited precisely because it is original. To those of you who have never heard of her: you might start by asking why your lazy micro teachers inflict a narrow range of material on you that typically consists of selected papers from their own back catalog, the work of their buddies and one or two classics they themselves were forced to swallow in grad school. To those of who complaining that’s she’s never published in your favorite ‘top journal’: yes, despite that shameful handicap she is one of the most cited social scientists around, by economists and non-economists alike.

You’ve never heard of Oliver Williamson? Then you need to march into your chair’s office and demand they take back your PhD as you’re an ignorant loser.

These postings really do show the narrow training of many economists. In fact, economics departments in most universities are highly isolated places in the larger world of social science. To trash a scholar as serious and insightful as Ostrom is a shame.

What if the commons is actually an important field of study and the fact that most of us never read anything about it during graduate school is something that economic theory lecturers should take into account when formulating their syllabi?

maybe, but she still got it only because she’s a woman.

[and much more …]

Compiled by Geoff Hodgson

21 October 2009

Crédito fotográfico: rpdorgan


2 Respuestas a “The Economics Profession of the Future?

  1. No sé quien es ni sé del “Mundo PhD” pero…

    Estoy con los de: “No importa haber publicado en los mejores journals?”. Entiendo que si los investigadores se basan sólo en eso se pierde la innovación y creatividad en sus trabajos. Publicar por publicar. Para qué arriesgar y trabajar en algo nuevo si puedes publicar hablando de temas “de moda”.

  2. Pingback: Is Economic Theory in Academia on the Decline? « floodingupeconomics


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