Viewpoint: 2019 Nobel* prize reveals the poverty of economics
The three new Laureates deserve the prize in economics in memory of Alfred Nobel. But the award shows how poor the modern economics discipline is in terms of gender equality, research methods, self-examination, and genuine insight into the lives of the poor.
Congratulations are due to the recipients of ‘The Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel’, and special congratulations to Esther Duflo who is the second ever woman (and first female economist) to receive the prize. Recognition of their achievements is much deserved – not only for their contribution to a major shift in economics methods, but also in how economists think about and aim to shape the world. However, we are concerned with the direction of this shift. The ‘randomista’ project is not just a methodological one, it also pursues a normative agenda of paternalism and behavioural engineering. Moreover, we have concerns about the scientific rigour in some Randomised Controlled Trial (RCTs).