What are the most significant flawed assumptions in economics? In particular, what assumptions have led to incorrect theories which have been used to justify harmful and failed public policies?

The very idea that economics can become an autonomous discipline, as in a discipline isolated from history, geography and politics.

Economics as a discipline has been trying very hard to get recognition as a “real science “ and subsequently came to despise its old pales : the human sciences. Economists got so focus on flexing their algorithmic muscles on the stage that they forgot the power of observation : please, just look at the actual thing before getting to conclusions !

Once at a conference,  I have seen this guy explaining the absence of impact of fluvial traffic on the commerce of a region in Poland by applying regressive algorithms on some obscure data. Then he shows a map of the county and they were no rivers nor seas.

I want to add a special mention for all my economists friends that have to attend so much incredibly boring conference where people debate for hours on scatterplot methodologies, so they can say basic things like : “if we look at history … “ or “maybe you should consider talking to some of the people involved … “

There are real economists out there, and they are real fighters !

This text was originally published in quora.

A question? A comment?

Please send it to me by email bonjour@clementrenaud.com or on Twitter.