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33683 Conferences

Economics made fun in the face of the economic crisis

Added by aydinonat on 2010-05-19

Conference Dates:

Start Date Start Date: 2010-12-10
Last Date Last Day: 2010-12-11
Deadline for abstracts/proposals Deadline for abstracts/proposals: 2010-06-15

Conference Contact Info:

Contact Person Contact Person: N. Emrah Aydinonat
Email Email: aydinonat@gmail.com
Address Address: Erasmus University Rotterdam, Rotterdam, Netherlands

Conference Description:

Best-selling books such as Freakonomics and The Undercover Economist have paved the way to a flourishing economics-made-fun genre. The economics-made-fun genre first and foremost wants to enlighten the general public about the breadth and power of economic analysis in an accessible and entertaining way. It aims at boosting the public image of economics. Economics-made-fun books mostly focus on “outlandish” or “freakish” subjects, rather than the traditional subjects of economics. Given their popularity and success, these books not only reflect but also influence how young economists approach economics. The economics-made-fun genre has no monopoly on shaping the public image of economics, however. While the economics-made-fun books present economics as a strong and explanatory science, the latest economic crisis exposed the shortcomings of economics to the general public. In the face of the crisis, many people, including well-known economists such as Paul Krugman, started expressing their doubts concerning the success of economics as a science. Newspaper columns as well as academic papers discussed the predictive and explanatory failures of economics. The emerging picture is somewhat confusing: Economics is presented as a way of thinking that is successful in explaining everyday and “freaky” phenomena, but on the other hand it seems to fail in addressing and explaining the most pressing economic matters. Could a science that cannot answer its core questions explain the logic of life?

The aim of the present symposium is to get a handle on this confusing picture of economics. We invite papers that appraise, criticize, or evaluate the economics-made-fun genre from the perspective of the nature, scope and success (or failure) of economics as a science. Papers that focus on the methodology, philosophy and ideology behind the economics-made-fun genre, its impact on research and public image of economics, as well as papers that put the genre in a historical perspective are welcome. We are also open to papers that focus on yet other aspects of the economics-made-fun-genre.

Keynote speakers (confirmed) are:
• Robert H. Frank
• Ariel Rubinstein
• Diana Coyle

There will be room for six more paper presentations. These will be selected from Abstracts submitted. The symposium will be held at Erasmus University Rotterdam, The Netherlands on 10-11 December 2010. The papers presented at the symposium will be published in a special issue of Journal of Economic Methodology and will eventually turn into a book.
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