Monday, February 02, 2009

The end of envy   posted by Razib @ 2/02/2009 09:16:00 PM

Jim Manzi:
This Baconian revolution is coming to economics and social science.

In fact, it's already happening. Weirdo experimental economists are starting to win the Nobel Prize. The recent Economist magazine round-up of the 10 most promising young economists in the world is rife with it. Established economists working in the current paradigm, as always, either dismiss it, or imagine that it is a niche sub-field that won't affect them. Time will tell, but I think they’re entirely wrong.

Much of the work that we now think of as economics, political science and other social sciences will likely be displaced by some hybrid of biology, experimental economics, psychology and other fields that can evaluate hypotheses for the quantified prediction of human behavior through structured falsification tests (or, sometimes, true "natural experiments" in which non-intentional random assignment has occurred)....

Jim is describing what Michael Vassar terms "integrative social science." My own interests in behavioral economics and economic history make it rather clear that I do hope that Jim is right.