The Punchbags Of Notre Dame

by Daniel on September 23, 2009

Do you find yourself considering the financial crisis and thinking “well, neoclassical economists have certainly come through this one with their reputations enhanced! Anyone with a world-class heterodox economics department should certainly be thinking about closing it down right now, there’s no interest in that sort of thing!”. Well, if you do, then you’re almost certainly working as an administrator at Notre Dame University (or for that matter, the University of Notre Dame, thanks Ben in comments), because nobody else does.

I mean, what the byOurLady heck do they think they are playing at. Back in April 2008, the decision to place clear fresh water between the nice professional efficient market types in the “Economics and Econometrics” department, and the dirty f**king hippies in “Economics and Policy Analysis” might have made some sort of sense, in that while cynical and not very academic-freedom-y, it would have improved students’ chances of getting into prestigious economics graduate programs where they could write “counterintuitive” and “fascinating” job market papers about penalty shootouts and speed-dating (these being the only remaining social or anthropological questions not thoroughly answered by neoclassical economists, cf “Freakonomics”).

But today? With the whole field blown wide open and all sorts of questions of the role of economic analysis wide open to debate again? With Richard Freaking Posner coming out as a post-Keynesian? I suppose that if you truly believe that it’s impossible to time the market, this is one way to prove it.