Thursday, April 12, 2007

Meritocracy in Economics

In general social sciences have less of a tendency to show characteristics of a meritocracy than the natural sciences. When a physicist puts up a great explanatory experiment or a new formula it may take some time until it is finally accepted in he research community but in the end it will be very difficult for anyone to refuse the new wisdom. Economics knowledge on the other is much more of a social product, which is born out of the interaction and consensus building of the top economists who happen to have their hands or their friends hands on what gets published and therefore on how scientific carreers become possible and what areas of research are important. Indeed in the field of economics it is much more important to be socially exposed to the consensus building (and at times consensus destroying) community of top researchers than in other disciplines.
I think that it is difficult to find another profession where the ratio of professors teaching at the top 20 research universities, who have also earned their PhD exactly from one of these top 20 research universities is as high as in economics. Not necessarily a sign of meritocracy in action.... But after all yes with hard work one can achieve everything, probably even in economics...

By this guy posted here.

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