Debunking Economics by Steve Keen

Debunking Economics by Steve Keen The Review of Austrian Economics, 16:4, 381–384, 2003. c 2003 Kluwer Academic Publishers. Manufactured in The Netherlands. Review Steve Keen (2001) Debunking Economics, Annandale, NSW, Australia: Pluto Press, 335 + ix pp., $27.50 Debunking Economics is a bold attempt to shake the foundations of the neoclassical economic mainstream. Embarking on this review, we had suspected we might find large areas of agreement with a fellow apostate. However, Keen’s work suffers from many of the very faults of which he accuses the mainstream. The most troublesome is that Keen’s work is quite frequently ideologically motivated, even while criticizing neoclassical practitioners for ideological economics. In the end we find it a brave but flawed effort to dethrone the current economic orthodoxy. Methodological Holism Versus Methodological Individualism Keen demonstrates that many attempts to aggregate quantities applying to individuals, so as to come up with a measure for “society’s utility” or “society’s indifference curves,” lack coherence. Fair enough. But the conclusion he draws from that fact is an ideological one. After pointing out the flaws in certain aggregate measures, Keen says, “society must exist as an entity in its own right” (p. 40). But that doesn’t follow from his argument; indeed, we would http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png The Review of Austrian Economics Springer Journals

Debunking Economics by Steve Keen

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Publisher
Kluwer Academic Publishers
Copyright
Copyright © 2003 by Kluwer Academic Publishers
Subject
Economics; Public Finance; Political Science; History of Economic Thought/Methodology
ISSN
0889-3047
eISSN
1573-7128
D.O.I.
10.1023/A:1027301323209
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

The Review of Austrian Economics, 16:4, 381–384, 2003. c 2003 Kluwer Academic Publishers. Manufactured in The Netherlands. Review Steve Keen (2001) Debunking Economics, Annandale, NSW, Australia: Pluto Press, 335 + ix pp., $27.50 Debunking Economics is a bold attempt to shake the foundations of the neoclassical economic mainstream. Embarking on this review, we had suspected we might find large areas of agreement with a fellow apostate. However, Keen’s work suffers from many of the very faults of which he accuses the mainstream. The most troublesome is that Keen’s work is quite frequently ideologically motivated, even while criticizing neoclassical practitioners for ideological economics. In the end we find it a brave but flawed effort to dethrone the current economic orthodoxy. Methodological Holism Versus Methodological Individualism Keen demonstrates that many attempts to aggregate quantities applying to individuals, so as to come up with a measure for “society’s utility” or “society’s indifference curves,” lack coherence. Fair enough. But the conclusion he draws from that fact is an ideological one. After pointing out the flaws in certain aggregate measures, Keen says, “society must exist as an entity in its own right” (p. 40). But that doesn’t follow from his argument; indeed, we would

Journal

The Review of Austrian EconomicsSpringer Journals

Published: Oct 4, 2004

References

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