Friday, June 6, 2014
Econ Journal Watch came out recently with an issue on: "Does Economics Need an Infusion of Religious or Quasi-Religious Formulations?" Editor Dan Klein has a prologue suggesting that conventional economic theory is "flat" and that religion might inform an approach better than maximization subject to constraints. Various economists, including me, respond with short articles. I recommend A. M. C. Waterman's "Can ‘Religion’ Enrich ‘Economics’?", in particular.
One surprise is that though there have been 458 downloads of the complete issue, one article has had 26,433! It's Rupert Read and Nassim Nicholas Taleb's "Religion, Heuristics, and Intergenerational Risk Management". Taleb wrote the book The Black Swan and has his own website. The article's worth reading, though I completely disagree with his view of the state of economics. Econ Journal Watch allows comments on articles, a very good thing, though you have to work a bit to read or write them, which eliminates much of the feature's usefulness.