Policy Recommendations as Spurious Predictions: Toward a Theory of Economists' Ignorance

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Fforde, Adam ORCID: 0000-0001-6088-8310 (2011) Policy Recommendations as Spurious Predictions: Toward a Theory of Economists' Ignorance. Critical Review: A Journal of Politics and Society, 23 (1-2). pp. 105-115. ISSN 0891-3811 (print) 1933-8007 (online)


Lao Tzu and Marx together provide the basis of an epistemology based on ignorance—not on knowledge. The failure of an epistemology based on knowledge is shown by the internal inconsistencies afflicting mainstream economics: Economic theory predicts certain empirical phenomena but these fail to reveal themselves. In fact, the strongest research finding in development economics is that there are almost no robust empirical relationships between an implemented policy and its desired outcomes in the real world. A theory of ignorance can highlight many economic contradictions—and may even prove useful in understanding autistics.

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Item type Article
URI https://vuir.vu.edu.au/id/eprint/9434
DOI 10.1080/08913811.2011.574473
Official URL https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/089138...
Subjects Historical > FOR Classification > 1402 Applied Economics
Historical > FOR Classification > 1606 Political Science
Historical > SEO Classification > 970114 Expanding Knowledge in Economics
Historical > Faculty/School/Research Centre/Department > Centre for Strategic Economic Studies (CSES)
Keywords ResPubID24414, Lao Tzu, Marx, epistemology, ignorance, economic theory, economic development, policy
Citations in Scopus 3 - View on Scopus
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