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Opinion
Mark Buchanan

The Dangerous Cult of Academic Macroeconomics

In economics as in physics, loyalty can trump the pursuit of the truth.
And what has macroeconomics done?

And what has macroeconomics done?

Photographer: Bethany Clarke/Getty Images
Corrected

Paul Romer, chief economist at the World Bank, has offered a controversial explanation for why the shocking experience of the 2008 financial crisis has had so little effect on academic macroeconomics. The field, he asserts, has devolved into a sort of cult in which loyalty to certain figures of authority matters more than the pursuit of the truth.

Could this really be true? Well, it certainly has precedents in physics.