Friday, December 11, 2009

Economics and Physics

I have had an ongoing debate with one of my smartest friends about whether or not economics should be considered a "science" on par with the natural sciences. Tangentially relevant to this discussion is this guest post at Aid Watch which starts by comparing economics to physics:

"The laws of economics are more powerful than the laws of physics. I once saw Deirdre McCloskey illustrate this by placing a $100 bill on the table. The laws of physics, she reminded the class, dictate that an object at rest tends to stay at rest. Economics tells us that errant $100 bills laying out in the open do not remain unattended for long. She assured the students that, were she to leave the room for several hours, economics would better predict Mr. Franklin’s fate."

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