Silicon Valley is turning to the dismal science in its never-ending quest to squeeze more money out of old markets and build new ones. In turn, the economists say they are eager to explore the digital world for fresh insights into timeless economic questions of pricing, incentives and behavior.
A powerful combination of technology change and regulatory action is planned to deliver “common open data standards” in banking within the next two years.
Incomplete models aren’t the only way that economics fails to take politics into account. Another is that economists rarely think about the political feasibility of their proposals.
Even if we do have a through understanding of how the economy works, we still may not be able to make accurate forecasts very far into the future. We understand the science of weather fairly well, but the forces involved are so complicated we cannot make reliable forecasts very far ahead. Perhaps the economy is the same.
So why does “the economy” and its study – “economics” – become a concept that needs a label in the eighteenth century? Why do we today watch it on the TV and read about it in the newspaper instead of learning more normal things – like Phryne’s fashion secrets, or Odysseus’s most-tricky battle strategems, or Akhilleus’s favorite strength-building recipes?