Talk:History of economic thought/Archive 3

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Added small area

In contemporary thought area of the article at the lower end... this, Behavioral economics

Behavioral economics and behavioral finance are closely related fields that have evolved to be a separate branch of economic and financial analysis which applies scientific research on human and social, cognitive and emotional factors to better understand economic decisions by consumers, borrowers, investors, and how they affect market prices, returns and the allocation of resources.

Seems like it deserves a spot. Comments?

Agreed, it appears to be a good addition, Skip. As sentences go, perhaps it's a bit long? such as...

Behavioral economics and behavioral finance are closely related fields that have evolved to be a separate branch of economic and financial analysis, which apply scientific research to human and social, cognitive and emotional factors. This helps to better understand economic decisions by consumers, borrowers, investors, and how they affect market prices, returns and the allocation of resources.

Also, rather than just a link to Behavioral economics, you might show the article in a section hatnote as:
rendered by the {{main|Behavioral economics}} template.  .`^) Paine Ellsworthdiss`cuss (^`.  00:55, 2 June 2009 (UTC)
Ok. Did suggestions of ..., and also added a comma to break up the long aspect of sentence. Thanks P.E. - I see now that you have mentioned it, that other areas in the article, could use main article connectors also. skip sievert (talk) 03:16, 2 June 2009 (UTC)
Glad to help.  .`^) Paine Ellsworthdiss`cuss (^`.  06:08, 2 June 2009 (UTC)

Still screwing up this page

My prediction is holding true. A fortnight on, this page is becoming progressively more of a mess. Let's enumerate four main points.

  • I note that Vision Thing has got in his unreferenced view that Hayek is classified by everyone as part of the Austrian School and not the Chicago School (which is the sort of statement produced by someone pushing an agenda on Wikipedia - no reader will give two hoots which fictitious classification Hayek is in. They want to know what he wrote about). So the rest of you are giving into stupidity because I'm afraid you don't know better. How on Earth it's coherent to place Hayek before Keynes is lost on me. Oh, and there's Schumpeter again!
  • Then the three sections on the most important economists in history - Smith, Marx and Keynes - have been gutted (read Fusfeld or Heilbroner or practically any HOET course for the similar emphasis). This shows a great deal of stupidity. Apparently Kenneth Arrow is as important as Adam Smith now. (If you respond by random culling of the paragraph on Arrow, I will be further unimpressed).
  • The notes show that people have been adding in random secondary sources that they've filched from the internet to justify various sentences. This again shows lack of knowledge. The references should come from the books of the writers themselves. But of course, that takes more EFFORT doesn't it!
  • As usual on pages where people who don't know what they're doing are writing, the introduction and it seems the first section are a jumble of incoherent statements, and disjointed paragraphs. What's more annoying is it just doesn't seem that the editors CARE about how the page looks. Random pictures of some bloody coins have appeared on a page about the history of economic THOUGHT.

I'll say again, I don't think anyone has either the expertise to be messing around. I also think there is no clear VISION of what the page should ultimately look like. Again, the random additions of "contemporary thought" show utter lack of appreciation for the task. I stick with my prediction, that people are running out of steam and you will all leave this page looking like a mess. The only decent, coherent parts will be the ones where you haven't touched the work I did previously. Wikidea 11:16, 5 June 2009 (UTC)

Much as I appreciate the sentiments expressed about improving the page, I really think you need to work on 'playing nice' with other people, after all, wikipedia is a collaborative project. LK (talk) 11:57, 5 June 2009 (UTC)
I would disagree W.I., though as to sentiment expressed. Now the article in general looks good. Before you had economic thought starting at Aristotle.. which was way out of any kind of historical reference. - The page is not a judgment account about or homage to Smith either. There was no real history before as to giving an idea of how economic thought spread from point to point. Modern economic history of the last 50 years, is now a little represented also.
The old version was not so hot. That is why we changed it. The fine point of three sections on the most important economists in history... this is not a rating article... it is an overview of economic thought... so an idiosyncratic judgment opinion of who is important as to size of space, is not warranted. I stick with my prediction, that people are running out of steam and you will all leave this page looking like a mess. The only decent, coherent parts will be the ones where you haven't touched the work I did previously. end W.I. - Just the opposite is happening. More people are working on it than before which means that more eyes are very critically appraising the information. skip sievert (talk) 14:39, 5 June 2009 (UTC)
Hayek was at London School of Economics to 1950 and had done much of the stuff he spoke about in his Nobel address by then. He was what he was before he got to Chicago. Of course he, like some other prominent Chicagoans was a libertarian. But not all libertarians are of the Chicago school, even when Hayek was at Chicapo. Clear, right?
Agree w WI for online from 2nd-rate sources per wp:verify#Reliable sources. 3rd-party sources okay for evaluation if they reflect common judgment (per link) but not for describing contents, where primary source should be given (page specific where possible). The standard should be high for a scholarly article such as this should be. There is a case for removing junk sources (and contested content that lacks sources).
Agree w WI on restoring material deleted for Smith, Marx, and Keynes (and others). What's needed is a standard (say the Britannica Econ article) as to space allotted different parts. Drastic block cuts (as happened for the above) should not be the final solution. Proportionality should be. Per skip sievert's comment The old version was not so hot. That is why we changed it.: Imperial "we" presumably as to the wholesale cut.. Nothing is forever lost on Wiki, Without agreement on article length, there may be no end to such cuts.
Agree w WE that the Lead is a mess. I'm trying to correct, add "thoughts," and reorder sequentially. Fine if anyone else beats me to it.
Agree w WI that HOET should reflect a vision as to historical context, content, etc. That's not likely to happen without even more discussion. One possibility: agreement on a vision statement on which Edits will be evaluated. One hopes that something will be learned from all this.
Coming together might be a trick, given recent events & long-standing animosities. Still, one may hope that improvement of the article as the aim will unruffle feathers enough to proceed. All should be all aiming toward good Edits driving out bad, not the opposite (a variation on Gresham's Law of course). There are no bad Editors, only bad Edits (well, a nice presumption anyhow, rebuttable though it may be).
Thank you, LK, for such an expression of restraint that it brought a smile to my face. --Thomasmeeks (talk) 13:11, 6 June 2009 (UTC)
Just one thing, I never once said that Schumpeter was a member of the Chicago School (so please don't mistake me). Frankly I don't care what "schools" people are said to belong to, because this is a history page, and what matters is chronology, when people lived, wrote, and their ideas became prominent.
Page still screwed up, and I still predict, nobody will do anything. Wikidea 12:20, 7 June 2009 (UTC)
Page better. People have done a lot. Prediction untrue (comment). Article is looking pretty good. skip sievert (talk) 16:48, 7 June 2009 (UTC)
Presumably, "Hayek," not Schumpeter, was meant above by WI, who discussed Hayek in the top Edit, 1st para.
"Schools" vs, individuals as an organizing principle is an unnecessary choice, as suggested at JEL classification codes#Schools of economic thought and methodology JEL: B Subcategories under HOET, JEL:B1-B4 & JEL:B6, where both methods of classification are used.
WI's prediction in the 2nd para. may come to pass, or worse (deterioration). It is possible, though far from certain, however, that scholarly standards would prevail, consistent w wp policies and guidelines.
WI, if you are dealing yourself out of HOET for the time being (or longer) after your great efforts, it would be understandable but an enormous loss to HOET and this page. That's far from saying that everything earlier was fine, which was expressly not your view. --Thomasmeeks (talk) 22:35, 7 June 2009 (UTC)
Wikidea you don't own this page, you must be willing to work cooperatively with others. -- Vision Thing -- 19:13, 10 June 2009 (UTC)
Hallo, VT. WI can speak for himself whenever (or not). He might now be doing things more elevated than noodling around w us wp proles. I agree w the above sentiment in principle, though. I also had the fun of reading this entire Talk page before getting into some of the Edits. From which I'd say 2 wrongs don't make a right. But how about lots more wrongs coming from every direction? That's what I see from deviating from the straight and narrow path of wp:civility. I note too that you've had your defenders, but I can understand how you might well have good reasons for that being insufficient recompense. Considering WI's responses, however, well, youze guys know how to "mix it up" (to use boxing lingo). So, I'm not feeling particularly sorry for anybody.
Coming up w a good final product is enormously complicated, given the richness of the subject, length constraints, and different backgrounds and views of Editors. Still, there might be the hope or necessity of putting aside earlier wrongs to move toward higher ground. I'n not putting any money on that yet. --Thomasmeeks (talk) 22:53, 10 June 2009 (UTC)

Chanakya or VishnuGupta

I removed this large section that was inserted after the history section. Chanakya is already summarized in the previous section. Also this seems like over kill of this person for this article... and it is not sourced (at all) as to the addition of its information.

Start Chanakya was an ancient Indian Philosopher, Economist and a great political strategist. He is a contemporary of Aristotle. In his famous book called "Arthasastra" he has written many classical economic ideas on international trade, taxation and capital labour value system (2000 years before Adam Smith). He has also clearly explained how a counties tax system should be planned, keeping a good compromise in growth between the national income and the economic growth of people. He wrote many arguments on international trade, like he explained the need for export and import, and also he advised a ratio between export and import which should be maintained, so that the nation will have a very good economic development. He also explained the labor wage system that should be followed for the equality of human resources (Skill, Knowledge and strength) based on the number of hours worked, quality of work and the quantity of work done. He is not only a theoretical economist and political strategist, he also served as prime minister for the maurian empire and has made it a very strong economic and military super force in ancient india. This era of maurian rule is called the golden age in indian history. End - skip sievert (talk) 01:58, 19 June 2009 (UTC)

It's a great story, but I agree that there are several problems with it. I haven't read the whole Chanakya article, but that would be a better place for the above story (when sourced properly). Besides, Chanakya's linked well in this article for those who desire more detail about him. Good call.  .`^) Paine Ellsworthdiss`cuss (^`.  04:02, 19 June 2009 (UTC)

Overly long intro

I trimmed the intro into a more reasonable size. There was a large amount of material in it that is redundant with the article body. I have put the material below in case anyone wants to grab some stuff out of it to work into the article or back into the intro. The wide scope of this article makes a large intro tempting, so merge back with caution.

Key historical figures in Western economics include Aristotle, Adam Smith, Karl Marx, and John Maynard Keynes. In his works on politics and ethics, the Greek philosopher Aristotle examined ideas about the "art" of wealth acquisition and the question of whether property is best left in private or public hands. In medieval times, scholars like Thomas Aquinas argued that it was a moral obligation of businesses to sell goods at a just price. Economic thought evolved from feudalism in the Middle Ages to mercantilist theory in the renaissance, when the prevailing wisdom advocated that trade policy be structured in order to further the national interest.

The political economy of Adam Smith appeared at the very beginning of industrial revolution, when technological advancement, global exploration, and material opulence that had previously been unimaginable became a reality.[1]

Following Adam Smith's Wealth of Nations, classical economists such as David Ricardo and John Stuart Mill examined the ways the landed, capitalist and labouring classes produced and distributed national riches. In London, Karl Marx castigated the capitalist system he saw around him which he described as exploitative and alienating. From about 1870, neoclassical economics sought to erect a positive, mathematical and scientifically grounded field above normative politics.

After the wars of the early twentieth century, John Maynard Keynes led a reaction against governmental abstention from economic affairs, advocating interventionist fiscal policy to stimulate economic demand, growth and prosperity. But with a world divided between the capitalist first world, the communist second world, and the poor of the third world, the post-war consensus broke down. Others like Milton Friedman and Friedrich von Hayek warned of The Road to Serfdom and socialism, focusing their theory on what could be achieved through better monetary policy and deregulation. As Keynesian policies seemed to falter in the 70's there emerged the so called New Classical school, with prominent theorists such as Robert Lucas and Edward Prescott. Their revival of laissez-faire ideas caught the imagination of some western leaders. However, the policies of governments through the 1980s have been challenged, and development economists like Amartya Sen and information economists like Joseph Stiglitz have brought new ideas to economic thought in the twenty first century.

Rapidly advancing technologies provide the means to achieve a transition of economies in the 21st century using Environmental economics and Ecological economics.[2] Concepts using sustainable practices of methods of systems ecology and industrial ecology are now employed to an economic conception of sustainable development.[3][4]

Gigs (talk) 14:19, 19 June 2009 (UTC)

I like your introduction , except for the fact that it presents the state of economics from the minority heterodox viewpoint. I've tried to balance it out, reflecting both the mainstream view and heterodox view if where economics stands. LK (talk) 18:03, 19 June 2009 (UTC)
I do not like the changes you made L.K. - Previous edits merely simplified things, where as you changed the direction of the previous consensus edit. People probably do not need hitting over the head as to what mainstream or heterodox means... it is explained. Telling people or directing (leading) people how to think is not suggested, which is what your edit did. People can figure out differences by links and ref/citations. None of the changes you made were constructive in the series of edits. There is a difference between telling about mainstream economics and ax-grinding them. - Making an edit like this [1] took the balance out of the article and removed a lot of the creative presentation which has been worked up over a long consensus of edits by a variety of people.
Mainstream economics is taught in prominent universities to the exclusion of most other schools of thought. end quote L.K. - What kind of argument or dialectic is this? Personal opinion? Original research? Are you saying that prominent (sounds like a weasel word) schools, do not teach all branches of economic thought? How could they not? Isn't that the purpose of education? Not good. Please do not re-add that kind of language. skip sievert (talk) 19:05, 19 June 2009 (UTC)
A longer lead in a long article is suggested in WP:LEAD#Length to pique interest and give a sufficiently specific overview of the article, including citations per WP:LEAD, 2nd paragraph. Those remain the goals, whether or not they were satisfied by the deleted material. A lead in history of economic thought should as a minimum reflect economic thought for the persons or schools referenced there. I believe that it is possible to improve significantly on removed material indented above and the much shortened current lead. I sympathize with the merge back with caution suggestion at the end of the top paragraph above as to materials that may not meet the noted lead guidelines. There is still the question of the what reader gets to view in the interim. With due respect, I'd lean toward at least some restoration on behalf of other readers, not merely us fussy editors. --Thomasmeeks (talk) 21:20, 19 June 2009 (UTC)
Agreed. I think we need a long lead that works as a summary of the article. While I could nit pick, the text quoted above would be good.--Bkwillwm (talk) 23:21, 19 June 2009 (UTC)
I summarized some later sections of the article to extend the lead... as I agree it was probably too short as to length of the article. Here is what I added.

Beginning - In more recent times, concepts in microeconomic ideas of game theory developed. The main focus of attention centred on exploration and refinement of the Nash equilibrium concept.

Behavioral economics have evolved to be a separate branch of economic and financial analysis, which applies scientific research on human and social, cognitive and emotional factors to better understand economic decisions by consumers, borrowers, investors, and how they affect market prices, returns and the allocation of resources.

Also, environmental economics and ecological economics are well known branches of thought which deal with sustainability issues in economies. Nicholas Georgescu-Roegen and Herman Daly attempted to demonstrate that the mathematical analysis of production in neoclassical economics is flawed because it fails to incorporate the laws of thermodynamics. Biophysical economics attempts to factor in thermodynamic aspects of energy and environment. - End. - skip sievert (talk) 23:54, 19 June 2009 (UTC)

I also agree that the lead should be longer. Current lead does a poor job of summarizing the article. I would bring back the following two paragraphs:

"In his works on politics and ethics, the Greek philosopher Aristotle examined ideas about the "art" of wealth acquisition and the question of whether property is best left in private or public hands. In medieval times, scholars like Thomas Aquinas argued that it was a moral obligation of businesses to sell goods at a just price. Economic thought evolved from feudalism in the Middle Ages to mercantilist theory in the renaissance, when the prevailing wisdom advocated that trade policy be structured in order to further the national interest. The political economy of Adam Smith appeared at the very beginning of industrial revolution, when technological advancement, global exploration, and material opulence that had previously been unimaginable became a reality.[5] Following Adam Smith's Wealth of Nations, classical economists such as David Ricardo and John Stuart Mill examined the ways the landed, capitalist and labouring classes produced and distributed national riches. In London, Karl Marx castigated the capitalist system he saw around him which he described as exploitative and alienating. From about 1870, neoclassical economics sought to erect a positive, mathematical and scientifically grounded field above normative politics.

After the wars of the early twentieth century, John Maynard Keynes led a reaction against governmental abstention from economic affairs, advocating interventionist fiscal policy to stimulate economic demand, growth and prosperity. But with a world divided between the capitalist first world, the communist second world, and the poor of the third world, the post-war consensus broke down. Others like Milton Friedman and Friedrich von Hayek warned of The Road to Serfdom and socialism, focusing their theory on what could be achieved through better monetary policy and deregulation. As Keynesian policies seemed to falter in the 70's there emerged the so called New Classical school, with prominent theorists such as Robert Lucas and Edward Prescott. Their revival of laissez-faire ideas caught the imagination of some western leaders. However, the policies of governments through the 1980s have been challenged, and development economists like Amartya Sen and information economists like Joseph Stiglitz have brought new ideas to economic thought in the twenty first century." -- Vision Thing -- 15:31, 21 June 2009 (UTC)

Ok, but then it seems pretty long again. I am going to edit down the information above before putting it back in. I will add back most of the information... but probably some is redundant, like most of the Smith aspect again, as Smith is already majorly covered in the lead before this. Some of it also is already word for word in the article and does not bear repeating probably.
Here is a reedited and formatted version of the information above, which is now in the lead.
Start The Greek philosopher Aristotle examined ideas about the "art" of wealth acquisition and questioned whether property is best left in private or public hands. In medieval times, Thomas Aquinas argued that it was a moral obligation of businesses to sell goods at a just price. The beginning of the industrial revolution, brought technological advancement, global exploration, and material opulence that had previously been unknown.[6] Classical economists such as David Ricardo and John Stuart Mill examined ways the landed, capitalist and labouring classes produced and distributed national riches. In London, Karl Marx castigated the capitalist system, which he described as exploitative and alienating. From about 1870, neoclassical economics attempted to erect a positive, mathematical and scientifically grounded field above normative politics.
After the wars of the early twentieth century, John Maynard Keynes led a reaction against what has been described as governmental abstention from economic affairs, advocating interventionist fiscal policy to stimulate economic demand and growth. With a world divided between the capitalist first world, the communist second world, and the poor of the third world, the post-war consensus broke down. Others like Milton Friedman and Friedrich von Hayek warned of The Road to Serfdom and socialism, focusing their theories on what could be achieved through better monetary policy and deregulation. As Keynesian policies seemed to falter in the 70's there emerged the so called New Classical school, with prominent theorists such as Robert Lucas and Edward Prescott. Governmental economic policies from the 1980s were challenged, and development economists like Amartya Sen and information economists like Joseph Stiglitz introduced new ideas to economic thought in the twenty first century. End Comments? skip sievert (talk) 16:49, 21 June 2009 (UTC)

Upper area pics and bars

Moved the Smith pic of Wealth of Nations to the Smith area. It is out of place really in the lead. Now just the economics bar is in the lead... and that is probably better... as it contains lots of information. Moved the coin image down into the Greek area of the history section. skip sievert (talk) 19:58, 19 June 2009 (UTC)

In the currently much shortened lead (minus the indented material of the previous section), WN pic mekes less sense than a lead where it is a fulcrum for earlier and later thought. --Thomasmeeks (talk) 20:35, 19 June 2009 (UTC)
It is in the section that is about the material it concerns. It is not a fulcrum in the article as the lead now makes clear [2], and this has been discussed already many times... that Adam Smith is not an end all or be all... or even the major rallying point of economics or economic thought, except for some. There is an Adam Smith article. Smith is gone over in many places in the article already. The picture of his book is in the section where the discussion of him is, along with his picture. Just having the economics bar in the lead gives a more neutral presentation and tone and information aspect. The coin is now in the section where it belongs near the history time line of where it appeared also. skip sievert (talk) 22:33, 19 June 2009 (UTC)

Weights

Looking through the article, it strikes me that Marx has a little too much space, and Adam Smith too little. Also, the section on Aristotle and other early thinkers doesn't properly summarize the 'main' article on early economic thought. LK (talk) 03:03, 23 June 2009 (UTC)

My problem with the Marxist section more about what it covers than its size. It is not only a bit large, but it doesn't even cover much of Marx's economic thought. Covering Marx's use of the labor theory of value, crisis theory, class relations, theory of history, etc. would be better than what we have in there now. The current section is more focused on politics and doesn't really fit with the rest of the article.--Bkwillwm (talk) 03:20, 23 June 2009 (UTC)
The main article Early economic thought looks like it needs a good going over. Agree that the Marx section could be redone almost completely... and as suggested the focus could be on labor theory of value, crisis theory, class relations, theory of history, etc. - Maybe Smith deserves another small paragraph... but Smith is redundantly appearing already in other places in the article, so if it is added to lets keep it simple and not get flowery or over emphasize Smith and keep it basic and short, like maybe a couple of more sentences. skip sievert (talk) 03:52, 23 June 2009 (UTC)

Apparently Lawrencekhoo believes that the Austrian School only deserves two sentences now. He has crossed the line into blatant POV pushing with his recent edits. Gigs (talk) 19:20, 23 June 2009 (UTC)

While the essence of what you are saying may be true, it may be better to present a better argument. Obviously L.K. weights against Austrian School in most edits and favors also so called mainstream. Just put the information back in Gigs. This particular article should not be edited about weight so much like a contest. This article is an overview of all the ideas and should not be judgmental... except in a creative way of presenting information and subtle presentation of ideas that makes the article more interesting. I am not pro or con Austrians but the information that was there before is good and not so long and gets at the main people and thoughts. Therefore that section was good before and deserves its place in the article. skip sievert (talk) 20:55, 23 June 2009 (UTC)
I've already reverted him once, I don't want to get into an edit war. And I do agree with you. That's the crux of my problem with LK's edits, that he seems to want to change the weight and emphasis of this article in an extremely POV fashion. Gigs (talk) 21:07, 23 June 2009 (UTC)
I do not see that L.K. has really changed that area that much though. It still contains the basic information like this
And, there's lots of connector information that gives a synopsis of the concepts and people... so I am not sure that the complaint about L.K. editing down info. drastically is correct. Can you give a diff or make a case for what your saying? There seems like a good overview in the Austrian section right now. Do you want to add more lines to the very beginning area under the heading?... and if so, I doubt that anyone will complain if you do as obviously there is a lot of cited and notable material that could be added, and the current couple of lines could be expanded a couple more lines. With Schumpeter and Hayek in there big time already and the main article connected, people can easily go to those other places for more info. skip sievert (talk) 21:14, 23 June 2009 (UTC)
Surely at least Mises should be mentioned? Are you really OK with a version of economic history that doesn't even mention Mises once? That seems to be the definition of WP:UNDUE weight to me. Gigs (talk) 01:38, 25 June 2009 (UTC)
I have added a little more to the intro, moved it back to a proper heading level, and added a very small overview Mises' most important work. Hope it sticks. Gigs (talk) 02:10, 25 June 2009 (UTC)
It looks like all the additional information is good, and sourced as to Thorstein Veblen breaking things down and other reffs. But, it looks like the whole area is formatted wrong, and that it is too many sections... four... when it could be a title.. Austrian economics, and then combine the people involved instead of all the subsections,.. that part does not seem right and seems too much as this article is an overview and not highlighting these three people except as a group of alike thinkers that are in one zone.
That is also the way the rest of the article is formatted with people clumped together under general headings. So, I combined it all and edited the info. down a little bit for neutrality and phrasing. Basically all the information though is there, though maybe shortened slightly because it got a little too specific. skip sievert (talk) 03:25, 25 June 2009 (UTC)
Thanks for working on it, though I'm not sure I agree with losing the bio 4th level subheads. If you look at other sections with multiple bios, they do have subheads. I say if we want to keep it your way, we need to rewrite the bios to flow together as prose. That may be appropriate for other sections as well anyway. I will give that a try and see what comes out. We can always revert later. Gigs (talk) 00:35, 26 June 2009 (UTC)

Austrian school is not a subset of neoclassical thought.

LK, please do not revert the Austrian school section down to a subhead of neoclassical again. You need to look no further than anything written about the history of economics to see that it was not a subset of neoclassical thought. The article on neoclassical economics even states:

The term (neoclassical economics) was originally introduced by Thorstein Veblen in 1900, in his Preconceptions of Economic Science, to distinguish marginalists in the tradition of Alfred Marshall from those in the Austrian School.[3][4]

How can something that was explicitly defined as not part of Austrian economics include Austrian economics as a subset? Gigs (talk) 02:05, 25 June 2009 (UTC)

You're not seeing the big picture here. The Austrian school does not stand alone. It is best understood as part of the whole Marginal revolution that changed Classical economic theory to what it is today. And yes, please do refer to some Economic History textbooks. I suggest starting with: The History of Economic Thought By Steven G. Medema, Warren J. Samuels
LK (talk) 08:35, 25 June 2009 (UTC)
I would in no way disparage following up at Medema & Samuels (pp. vii-ix), which might have all the chapter links one needs per this discussion (if not, then hard copy or full e-version at a university library). There is also a nuanced discussion of the relation Austrian, British, and French marginalists c. 1870-1929 at Mark Blaug, "Economics" Historical development of economics: Neoclassical economics, Encyclopædia Britannica (or Online through library), concluding with:
"The three schools of marginalist doctrines gradually coalesced into a single mainstream that became known as neoclassical economics." [Clearly a non-Veblenesque use of "neoclassical."]
Blaug's rendering, of course, but he is highly regarded as a HOET scholar, As to later ("the next generauioo" of the Austrian school), well, it's still classified as a "current heterodox gpproach": (JEL: B5) at JEL classification codes#Schools of economic thought and methodology JEL: B Subcategories. That would have included Hayek for sure. --Thomasmeeks (talk) 13:32, 25 June 2009 (UTC)
I agree with you (LK) that it all ties together, but everything on this page ties together. No economic school of thought developed in a vacuum. Menger had a large influence on Austrian thought, and I wouldn't deny that, just as Austrian thought had an influence on Monetarists like Friedman. I'm not going to stick monetarism under the Austrian school though. Gigs (talk) 00:58, 26 June 2009 (UTC)
I was just reading Peter J. Boettke's description of the relationship between Austrian school and mainstream economics: WHAT IS WRONG WITH NEOCLASSICAL ECONOMICS:(And What is Still Wrong With Austrian Economics), and came across this line: "In comparing Neoclassical economics with Austrian economics it is important to recognize first and foremost that Austrian economics is historically a school within the broader tradition of neoclassical economics." Since Boettke is perhaps the foremost scholar in the Austrian School tradition at the moment, his viewpoint should be taken as definitive. Given this, and Mark Blaug's description given above by Thomasmeeks, it's clear that the Austrian school is part of the neo-classical movement. LK (talk) 07:01, 2 July 2009 (UTC)
This is not at all "obvious." Please cite a reliable source for the assertion that Peter Boettke is "perhaps the foremost scholar in the Austrian School tradition at this moment." Please also explain how this is relevant. Boettke's characterization of the Austrian School has sometimes been hotly contested by other Austrian economists. For example, see this critique by Joe Salerno. For a source that clearly discusses the Neoclassical and Austrian schools of thought as distinct, see this article from the Mises Review. (Here is the Yeager article that the MR piece references.) DickClarkMises (talk) 05:53, 5 July 2009 (UTC)
It seems pretty obvious that it is. For that reason it seems odd that there is so much excitement among the advocates of the various nuances of both. Both are traditional economic outlooks using the same terms and constructs, that hearken to the same history and are a part of the same long line that reaches back to Mesopotamia. As far as definitive experts... that is a bit much, since we are dealing with abstract concepts in general when we are discussing economics, and opinions rule. All of these economics concepts of value, price debt etc. are human constructions. Data can be jiggered into things that make sense within an abstract concept, but that is still only human construct. skip sievert (talk) 15:21, 2 July 2009 (UTC)
(ec) It's interesting that, when looking over the edit history, the editor who introduced the Austrian school first used it in the intro to New classical economics and eventually stated that the Austrian "Vienna school" is one of three schools of neoclassical thought. Then a little later that very same editor opened a new section on Austrian economics, while preserving the three-school statement in the intro to the neoclassical economics section. It seems that the new section was opened in order to elaborate on the Austrian school, but not to separate it from the three-school idea of neoclassical economic thought. In terms of organization, then, it seems that the elaboration ought to go within the Neoclassical section, and the Austrian economics ought not be a full section in and of itself. However, as you mention, Skip, it all boils down to opinion: both those of the cited experts and those of the involved editors. Such an argument could be volleyed back and forth forever, escalating into "who knows what?", so maybe it would be good for all to step away from it for a time, just for the sake of perspective?  .`^) Paine Ellsworthdiss`cuss (^`.  09:29, 5 July 2009 (UTC)
Funny, I missed the part in the source you cite where it states definitively "Austrian school was not part of the neo-classical marginal revolution that occurred in the 19th century". Can you point me to it? Also, given that Blaug is widely considered to be one of the foremost economic historians of our time, how is his viewpoint not relevant? Lastly, the sources you cite are using 'neo-classical' to refer to Chicago school, not the neoclassical movement of the 19th century. How are differences between the Chicago school and Austrian school today even relevant to 19th century history?
Insisting that the Austrian School has a top level heading looks like trying to 'score points', this is not what Wikipedia is about. LK (talk) 09:12, 5 July 2009 (UTC)
Maybe a top level heading is justified, since it is widely discussed and has its own set of sub distinctions, as other headings do. The distinctions may not be significant or great, but there are large groups that make them and argue them, for better or worse. skip sievert (talk) 15:19, 5 July 2009 (UTC)
LK, that accusation could fly both ways. However, _that_ is not what Wikipedia is about. Please Assume Good Faith. and stick to substantive argument. The question in my mind is this: "is it uncontroversial to state that the Austrian School is merely a subset of neoclassical economics?" If it is not, the article should not say that this is so. This is not to say that it would not be useful to note in the Austrian School section that some economists, like Boettke, have classified it as a strain of neoclassical economic thought. I think it would be. However, since this is a controversial point, it should not stated in the encyclopedic voice, nor should the the article's organization directly imply that this is the "right" classification for it. DickClarkMises (talk) 19:52, 5 July 2009 (UTC)

Progress of rewrite presentation

The article is looking pretty good. It seems like most of the larger issues are being worked out. Does any one have any issues that still need to be worked out as to weight and presentation..?.. that are glaring or seem to be too big to be ignored?

I added back the Economics side bar to the top, as that seems like the logical place for it. In general I think it would be a good idea now for all the editors that have worked on this recently, to go through the article to copy edit it, as to language, flow, and neutrality and creative phrasing/presentation. skip sievert (talk) 15:31, 25 June 2009 (UTC)

What do you think about my comments above regarding "biographies vs prose"? Do you think trying to avoid biographical subheads all over might make a better article? I could see it going both ways. Gigs (talk) 01:01, 26 June 2009 (UTC)
I hope that any discussion of the first sentence/2nd paragraph at the top would take place in the new next section rather than it getting lost in whatever other topics might arise here.
The above congratulatory heading[*] certainly expresses the sentimant of its editor, but in so doing it deviates from WP:TALK#New topics and headings on talk pages: "Keep headings neutral." --Thomasmeeks (talk) 01:36, 26 June 2009 (UTC)
[*] That is, ""So far so good." --Thomasmeeks (talk) 18:47, 26 June 2009 (UTC)
Not exactly sure what you mean Gigs, but the article right now mostly is consistent with areas that pertain to ideas, and then people added in those areas. It is an idea to tie the Austrians together as you said, but if that means expanding that area a lot maybe that is not a good idea, as currently anyone wishing to understand the gist of those ideas can. Right now that article section has lots of overt information and other info that can be clicked on, and I like the paragraph separation because it makes each person distinct also, without exaggerating that with sub headings which may not be needed.
In the digital world T.M. filling up a space for the sake of filling it up may not be a good rationale. As to, TOC vis-á-vis the sidebar as to line-by-line comparisons vs. to the more amorphous Lead text vis-á-vis the side bar. end quote T.M.,,, is this really an important issue? Most of the articles on Wikipedia with the economics bar on them have it on the top, maybe because this is where most people start the article and it contains an overwhelming amount of good information right away. If it shortens the lead it is not by much. Aesthetically it just seems nice there.
Does So far so good sound non-neutral? If you think so, go ahead and change it, but because this article in particular is trying and succeeding in my opinion of reconciling a lot of ideas and also a lot of conflicting pov's from very disparate editors, it does seem to me that NPOV, and general quality is coming through in the article now, and for that reason I think it is pretty good. skip sievert (talk) 01:56, 26 June 2009 (UTC)
Well, do you think we should eliminate any other biographical subheadings? Gigs (talk) 02:55, 26 June 2009 (UTC)
The section heading "So far so good" has since been replaced to include the more subtly congratulatory term "progress." --Thomasmeeks (talk) 18:47, 26 June 2009 (UTC)

Placement of Econ side bar at top or next to Table of Contents?

"[...]I added back the Economics side bar to the top, as that seems like the logical place for it.[...] skip sievert (talk) 15:31, 25 June 2009 (UTC)"

I have copied above a quotation from the top Edit of the previous section to facilitate focus on the present distinct topic per WP:TALK#New topics and headings on talk pages: "Make a new heading for a new topic." The Edit summary history of the article placing the Econ side bar next to the Table of Contents was to fill the empty TOC space. IMO that's an advantage in:
1T. seeming to shorten a lead that meeds to have more content
2T. using the otherwise wasted TOC space to allow the reader to dwell on or more conveniently move past, depending on interests of the reader
3T. allowing the reader to study the TOC vis-á-vis the sidebar as to line-by-line comparisons vs. to the more amorphous Lead text vis-á-vis the side bar. --Thomasmeeks (talk) 01:36, 26 June 2009 (UTC)
  1. This does not seem like a factor, if it shortens it, its not noticeable.
  2. Many times people click on that table of contents to get rid of it, because they may not want to see it. There is not wasted space in a digital sense, and lining the bar up with the very different information in the table of contents does not seem like an issue.
  3. The lead is not really amourphous. In my opinion it is very cogent and pointed. The bar and the lead are very different but seem to me more complimentary, and a good way to start the article as to information presentation.
The intangible value as to presentation to me is that it looks better at the top and therefore makes for a nicer presentation. skip sievert (talk) 02:24, 26 June 2009 (UTC)
4T.A. Not specifying the dimensions of each of the problematic terms in the previous sentence comes across as more a preference than a communicable value -- a vote, not a good reason. Aesthetic judgments should point to specifics that support such a judgment, as I believe (1T-3T) above do.
Here's reply to the above criticisms of my earlier (1T-3T):
1T.A. As may be examined in the respective Edits, with the sidebar next to TOC compared to at the top, the Econ sidebar at the top increases the length of the Lead by about three eighths (37.5%). That's big and slows completion of the Lead, making a long Lead even longer, and reducing likelihood of reading further.
2T.A. The "Hide" function for the TOC may or may not be visible, depending on last security setting or cache issues, but why anyone would want the TOC to “Hide” in this long article is a puzzler. The TOC facilitates navigation, esp. in a long article. Even for those who keep it off. (1T) above still applies. Why scare readers off or divert them in the Lead with unnedcessary length from the sidebar? The space next to the TOC is wasted if the absence of the sidebar there menns half the content for the same amount of scrolling.
3T.A. I have bolded the phrase above at (3T) above that ss’s Edit omits, thereby misrepresenting (3T) in his own argument. I did not say that "the Lead is amorphous [period]". Rather, there is nothing in the lead text that systematically facilitates easy comparison against the sidebar. By contrast at least the simplicity of the TOC facilitates such comparisons against the sidebar -- links in one box against links in the other box -- for those who wish to make them. That matters esp. for a long lead. –Thomasmeeks (talk) 01:50, 27 June 2009 (UTC) sp. correction
1T.A. As may be examined in the respective Edits, with the sidebar next to TOC compared to at the top. the Econ sidebar at the top increases the length of the Lead by about three eighths (37.5%). That's big and slows completion of the Lead, making a long Lead even longer, and reducing likelihood of reading further. .. end quote T.M.
It does not increase or decrease it in the sense that the whole language of the lead as written is there, it stretches it just a little as to presentation, but that seems like a non issue because the bar has so much really good information to be seen right when anyone goes to this article. skip sievert (talk) 20:50, 27 June 2009 (UTC)

Is the lead too long?

The lead is still massive, and I wish we could trim it down to something more reasonable. I tried, but it pretty much all came back. Can't we come to some consensus? Gigs (talk) 02:57, 26 June 2009 (UTC)
Thats a different subject. The lead was long. Then it was shortened a lot. There were complaints then that for such a long article it was too short. Then information was added back in that reflected the article, and it seems to be alright as to length now, and it is also interesting and relates to the article well. skip sievert (talk) 03:05, 26 June 2009 (UTC)
It's not grossly inappropriate, but I think it could be made more concise. The guideline calls for a maximum of 4 paragraphs after all, even for long articles. Of course the article length could probably still stand to be trimmed as well. As for the other changes to the layout, they look OK to me. Gigs (talk) 13:19, 26 June 2009 (UTC)
I like the way you rejiggered the last couple of paragraphs to reorder them at the end of the lead G.- It makes more sense that way, and tells a better story. We could combine the last two paragraphs of the lead and that would make 4, but right now that last paragraph is very small, so we may be close enough to the guideline as is. Not sure about what we could cut from the article now as to length, but I am sure that the information in the article can be refined as to language and idea presentation. skip sievert (talk) 13:55, 26 June 2009 (UTC)
The 4 paragraphs is just a guideline of course. I'm not as concerned by the number of paragraphs as the amount of material, which seems a little long, even for a long article. Knowing which bits to cut is always the hard part of making anything great. I'm kind of at a loss personally right now, if anyone has any suggestions. Gigs (talk) 01:07, 30 June 2009 (UTC)
I think we can let this one slide for the time being. Lets let it simmer and if anyone comes up with a proposal we can look at it. It is tough because of all the good information. skip sievert (talk) 02:20, 30 June 2009 (UTC)

Sectioned off the topic as indicated above from previous section on a different topic per wp:talk#New topics and headings on talk pages. --Thomasmeeks (talk) 20:02, 26 June 2009 (UTC)

Information in lead

L.K. it seems particularly pointless to remove aspects of modern economic theory as you did in this edit [3] ... you gave the rationale that the information in not in the body of the article, which is mostly untrue, because there are sections that are devoted to the information you removed. So, please do not remove broad areas as you did. Here is the info. you removed

In more recent times, concepts in microeconomic ideas of game theory developed. One focus was on exploring and refining the concept of Nash equilibrium. Behavioral economics have evolved to be a separate branch of economic and financial analysis, which applies scientific research on human and social, cognitive and emotional factors to better understand economic decisions by consumers, borrowers, investors, and how they affect market prices, returns and the allocation of resources. Also, environmental economics and ecological economics are well known branches of thought which deal with sustainability issues in economies. Biophysical economics attempts to factor in thermodynamic aspects of energy and environment.

This information is integral to the lead, and has passed previous consensus without real problems. Ignoring modern economic ideas is really counter productive for an encyclopedia. Also keep in mind that the article is being rewritten and is not perfect. How is it that you remove information on economics..?. Those ideas are so basic. That is the subject here. Please restrain yourself from making that edit again. skip sievert (talk) 15:52, 5 July 2009 (UTC)

L.K. Again, please stop removing information from the article lead. You may or may not know about these developments. You may or may not have an interest or desire to understand more about those ideas. However, do not remove those mainstream and well know contemporary aspects of this history as it relates to Energy economics. Its not really fair to people interested in the subject. If you would like more information on some of these ideas here is a starting point [4], here is more information [5] and more [6]... Here is more basic history of Biophysical economics [7] and here is a paper related also [8]. skip sievert (talk) 20:51, 5 July 2009 (UTC)
Can you point to the exact sections where this information is extensively discussed in the body, so that it deserves a place in the lead? I do not see any extensive discussion of these issues in the body. (Except for a sentence in the last paragraph.) Claiming that it is there is not good enough. LK (talk) 11:08 am, Today (UTC+8)
Please do not point to a false dichotomy of how you think the article could be organized according to your personal criteria of opinion as to importance of various sourced and ref noted concepts and ideas that are well known and a part of the subject. Do not remove critical information from the article that is well known and much discussed and written about, and sourced. There is not extensive discussion of multiple things in the lead as to body with multiple things. The ideas in the lead are obviously part of the article though. The article is in a rewrite also. It is depriving others of actual information in regard to modern economic thought with the removal of information you did. I find your information removal to be a part of ax grinding for the mainstream economics of 18th. century origin and not appropriate for adequate information presentation in the here and now. skip sievert (talk) 16:46, 6 July 2009 (UTC)
I would like to restate the rule – the lead should reflect the body. You are accusing me of bias. However, I've only edited the lead to reflect what is discussed in the body. We should all stick to community guidelines. LK (talk) 05:30, 7 July 2009 (UTC)
Not a problem. N.p.o.v. and also consideration that this article has undergone vast changes could be taken into account. skip sievert (talk) 16:09, 7 July 2009 (UTC)
This line: "Energy economics which relates to Biophysical economics,[6] attempts to factor in thermodynamic aspects of energy and environment.[7]" Is a repeat of the last line of the article. Given the length of the article, I think proper weight for environmental issues is one line at most. LK (talk) 17:35, 7 July 2009 (UTC)
Another way to look at it is that, there are 14 major sections in the article. The lead has about 30 lines. Therefore each major section should have about 2 lines. LK (talk) 17:38, 7 July 2009 (UTC)

Skipsievert, can you explain why you think including thermodynamic economics in the lead isn't undue weight? There are many subfields in economics and there is only so much space in the lead. I've only been loosely following the discussion, but I haven't really seen where this area is having a significant impact on mainstream economics.--Bkwillwm (talk) 00:22, 8 July 2009 (UTC)

Ignoring important aspects is not a good idea. The lead is a summary of important aspects. Energy economics is critical... and Industrial ecology, Systems ecology and Energetics are related to it in economics. I left a bunch of links on your user page L.K. for that purpose of giving more info. - The article should reflect what is going on in the real world... and not just stuffy economic jargon. Please do not get rid of the information. That deprives people of information and that is antithetical to the idea here. Maybe this link could explain this further which is one I used in the ref/notes [9], it explains energy and economics and the recent past. The information does reflect what is going on in economics, and lack of weight about energy/thermodynamic aspects , does not seem like an issue skip sievert (talk) 00:27, 8 July 2009 (UTC)

You claim consensus. Is this a consensus of one? Who else agrees with you? You are acting unreasonably, it's not extensively discussed in the article and so it shouldn't be in the lead. This is obvious to anyone not involved with 'energy/thermodynamic aspects'. The burden of proof lies on the person who wants to add material. You have not fulfilled that burden. Your edits are breaking MOS guildlines, and you are edit warring. Stop. LK (talk) 02:32, 8 July 2009 (UTC)

The burden of proof? This is obvious to anyone not involved with :'energy/thermodynamic aspects'. and you are edit warring. Stop. End quote L.K.
Are you interested in a serious discussion of this or are you just going to advocate for mainstream academic thought to the exclusion of what you do not think is mainstream thought L.K.??, when maybe it is, but you are not so familiar with it? The ideas have been discussed previously. Do you feel like you must do wholesale reverts... instead of say changing text or expanding information?
Are you familiar with aspects of economics that are more in the last 20 or 30 years... beyond Keynes with his jiggling around of numbers? Recently you said that he was the greatest economist of the 20th century. Great? Can you see where this might sound silly to someone else possibly?
Rapidly advancing technologies now provide the means to achieve a transition of economies, energy generation, water and waste management, and food production towards sustainable practices using methods of systems ecology and industrial ecology.Kay, J.J. "On Complexity Theory, Exergy and Industrial Ecology: Some Implications for Construction Ecology." In: Kibert C., Sendzimir J., Guy, B. (eds.) Construction Ecology: Nature as the Basis for Green Buildings, pp. 72-107. London: Spon Press. Retrieved on: name = Quest> Baksh, B. and Fiksel J. (June 2003) "The Quest for Sustainability: Challenges for Process Systems Engineering."
Are you interested in economics as to other aspects of applications of mainstream economics to how society actually runs, big picture wise? That involves economics and energy in a very big way.. currently, presently. No comment on this file [10]? No comment on the raft of info I have given you. Zero. Is it possible L.K. that maybe you have a tendency to very aggressively edit at times... (Apparently Lawrencekhoo believes that the Austrian School only deserves two sentences now. He has crossed the line into blatant POV pushing with his recent edits. Gigs (talk) 19:20, 23 June 2009 (UTC)) - Maybe the talk page can be carefully looked at as to who is doing what, who is editing collaboratively, and trying to reach consensus with ideas and information rather than editing tactics as to ideas?
An earlier edit on this discussion page, I'm OK with the text you added to the lead above (except "integral to economic conception" may be a bit strong), and adding something environmental/energy economics to the text would be OK too. This section should reflect the major ideas in these areas. Off the top of my head, I'd say Hubbert Peak, permit trading, environmental Kuznets curve, and sustainable development would be candidates for inclusion. I guess you could fold in thermoeconomics in this section too, but its a heterodox theory so we have to be careful about how much attention it gets and how we tie it to the rest of the article.--Bkwillwm (talk) 04:03, 19 May 2009 (UTC) skip sievert (talk) 04:10, 8 July 2009 (UTC)

In the interest of resolving this, can we agree to let a third person decide? If a third person agrees that in a long article like this, a topic that has two sentences in the body, should have one sentence in the lead, then I will leave it alone. Also, please stop with the personal attacks and accusations of bias, that is being impolite. LK (talk) 07:41, 8 July 2009 (UTC)

As said earlier the article is in a rewrite and has been for a couple of weeks anyway. Instead of making parliamentary arguments for this or that... lets work on improving the article in general. That means expanding information in some places and editing it down in others. Everyone on Wikipedia makes mistakes, has biases, pov's etc. A good over view of Economic thought from ancient to present is the desired effect for the article. As such I think the article is coming along nicely and looks pretty good in general. skip sievert (talk) 18:10, 8 July 2009 (UTC)

End of lead

Starting a new section here because the old area seems bogged down. I reformatted the end section couple of sentences as to presentation in the lead. It is sourced and it is very basic to the topic and the presentation of the topic. It revolves around these things which are very basic now to economic thought [11] - skip sievert (talk) 15:12, 15 July 2009 (UTC)

Should one particular heterodox school be mentioned in the lead?

Skip and I are having a disagreement on whether the heterodox school of energy economics deserves a sentence in the lead. That is, whether this sentence should be the concluding sentence of the lead:

"Energy economics which relates to Biophysical economics, attempts to factor in thermodynamic aspects of energy and environment into economic approaches such as 'energy returned on energy invested' (EROEI)."

My disagreement with it is that,

  1. The topic is discussed in only a few sentences in the article, not enough to justify mention in the lead.
  2. Energy economics is not usually part of discussions of the history of economic thought. The books on history of economic thought that I have seen do not mention it, I can provide several citations to show this. it would surprise me if there is a book on history of economic thought with a section on energy economics.
  3. Several heterodox schools exist, why only mention energy economics, why not also the post-keynesians, the neo-marxists, islamic economics, the austrian school, feminists, socialists, etc. as well?

LK (talk) 15:31, 17 July 2009 (UTC)

  1. Energy economics is not a heterodox school of thought, it's an applied field of mainstream economic thought. The energy economics article currently misrepresents that. Thermoeconomics is a heterodox school.
  2. If any heterodox school of thought is mentioned in the lead, it still shouldn't be thermoeconomics, which is minor in influence. CRETOG8(t/c) 16:10, 17 July 2009 (UTC)
It is not minor Cretog. And you are wrong that Biophysical economics is not connected with Energy economics which obviously it is. Mostly it is not even heterodox as applied in modern industry [12] You guys maybe need to get out a little and explore modern economics thought not related to neo classical thinking from dusty old textbooks. Several heterodox schools exist, why only mention energy economics, why not also the post-keynesians, the neo-marxists, islamic economics, the austrian school, feminists, socialists, etc. as well? end quote L.K. - No one is stopping you from doing that L.K. but you seem fixated and have been on Energy economics as being heterodox which it is not. I think you have been revert happy L.K. in general and not really trying to understand other aspects of modern economics in context of the last 20 or thirty years. Energy generation, water and waste management, and food production towards sustainable practices uses methods of systems ecology and industrial ecology. Those are based in economic thought. How is it that you resist a couple of sentences in the lead as to mentioning that sort of thing? Kay, J. (2002). Kay, J.J. "On Complexity Theory, Exergy and Industrial Ecology: Some Implications for Construction Ecology." In: Kibert C., Sendzimir J., Guy, B. (eds.) Construction Ecology: Nature as the Basis for Green Buildings, pp. 72–107. London: Spon Press. Retrieved on: 2009-04-01. Baksh, B. and Fiksel J. (June 2003) "The Quest for Sustainability: Challenges for Process Systems Engineering." American Institute Of Chemical Engineers Journal 49(6):1355. Retrieved on: 2009-04-04.
L.K. check out this A review of this literature also indicates that some economists engaged in the net energy debate lacked sufficient knowledge of basic ecological and thermodynamic principles to accurately judge the assumptions and methods of net energy analysis, much less its conclusions. Due to this lack of knowledge and to the perceived threat of net energy analysis as a purported replacement for economic analysis, some economists criticized and rejected net energy analysis on the basis of claims never made by its practitioners. end quote from link. Maybe you are unaware of the importance and application of all these ideas currently [13] as to economic thinking in systems ecology and industrial ecology both based on Energy economics which as said is mainstream as applied in industry and as they relate to economics. So... yes, go ahead and add those other things in the lead as you like if you feel they are important also, but do not remove the reffed and cited sentence that you are disputing because the dispute is not really appropriate. The idea here is to make information known as to this subject... not remove information. The information is basic and important for understanding the subject. skip sievert (talk) 16:19, 17 July 2009 (UTC)


Based on a quick review of the article and the arguments presented, I have to agree that the statement should probably be left out. The sentence appears to add undue weight in the lead based on the article content. Aside from any issue of heterdox, the WP:LEAD is already significantly long and must briefly summarize the article. There is already a very general sentence in the lead for this particular section of the article "Sustainability issues which involve environmental economics and ecological economics[4] have become important elements of economic thought." So with the size of this article, we have to consider if we can give more than once sentence per header based on the statement importance. Skip, I don't know the importance level of this particular area, but based on the weight currently given to it in the article, I have to fall on the side that it is not a significant enough point to put in the lead. If there is some consensus on including some of the material, I would suggest appending it to the existing sentence above in some brief summary form. Morphh (talk) 16:44, 17 July 2009 (UTC)
There is no good reason to mention Biophysical economics, which is a redirect to the heterodox school of Thermoeconomics, in the lead. There is also no good reason to mention energy economics, which is just one area of orthodox application of economic reasoning. The sentence should be cut from the lead because it places undue weight on issues not central to the history of economic thought. --Rinconsoleao (talk) 17:12, 17 July 2009 (UTC)
Agree, no reason to mention thermoeconomics or energy economics. They're not nearly central enough to be mentioned in the lede of such a sweeping article. CRGreathouse (t | c) 19:30, 17 July 2009 (UTC)
I doubt very much whether Biophysical economics could even be considered heterodox anymore. It is a mainstay of economic application as it relates to industry... for environmental reasons among other reasons. But I still think Energy economics deserves mention in the lead. If not the article is not representative of anything current or real as to that issue which at bottom is about thermoeconomic ideas. I could compromise by just adding that.
As said energy economics is mainstream... systems ecology and industrial ecology both based on Energy economics, and obviously L.K. did not know that energy economics was mainstream as his post indicated it was not above - quote L.K. Skip and I are having a disagreement on whether the heterodox school of energy economics deserves a sentence in the lead. end quote, so the basis of the argument was never really justified.
There is no shortage of information as to mainstream aspects of energy economics [14] or [15] or [16] or [17]... so it may be time to remove heterodox from this idea as it is used every single day to run our economy [18] - skip sievert (talk) 00:06, 18 July 2009 (UTC)

Arrow

The section on Kenneth Arrow is problematic. First, two-thirds of its length is devoted to Arrow's theorem, which seems WP:UNDUE weight. (I have no personal objection; I find Arrow's theorem fascinating. But it's not nearly two-thirds of Dr. Arrow's contribution to economics.) Second, the description of the theorem is wrong: "His argument was that individuals can never reach social consensus, when deciding by preferences and presented with over three options.":

  • Consensus can be reached, just not in a way following Arrow's conditions. He even gives explicit examples.
  • It applies to over two options, not over three.

CRGreathouse (t | c) 19:43, 17 July 2009 (UTC)

This article is in a rewrite mode and has been for several weeks. Mostly that has gone really well (in my opinion). It has changed a great deal. Mostly that section has not changed much from before and probably needs some work. Feel free to dig in Greathouse and execute your ideas. skip sievert (talk) 00:18, 18 July 2009 (UTC)
If you don't get to it, I'll try to give it a crack soon (personal life may intervene). I think the impossibility theorem is very important, because it's very prominent among non-economists, and inspired a resurgence of social choice studies. All the same, I think trying to summarize the technical aspects of the theorem is unnecessary for this article. CRETOG8(t/c) 00:23, 18 July 2009 (UTC)
I am in a bad position to fix the bias in Arrow's section, because I know him primarily for his (1950/1951/1963) work on social choice! But I'll do what I can. CRGreathouse (t | c) 11:13, 18 July 2009 (UTC)
I have heavily edited the section. Please review my changes and feel free to edit further or to partially revert if I dropped something I shouldn't have. CRGreathouse (t | c) 16:12, 27 July 2009 (UTC)

Environmental and ecological economics

Added this as a kind of entree` couple of sentences to this area.

Start - By the 20th century, the industrial revolution had led to an exponential increase in the human consumption of resources. The increase in health, wealth and population was perceived as a simple path of progress. However, in the 1930s economists began developing models of non-renewable resource management (see Hotelling's Rule) and the sustainability of welfare in an economy that uses non-renewable resources (Hartwick's Rule). - End

Notable and pivotal in the development of economic ideas, and seems like an economic thought turning point, as to modern economics also. This is at the tail end of the article. Thoughts? skip sievert (talk) 14:29, 27 July 2009 (UTC)

Marxist economics section too long?

I am concerned by how lengthy the section on Marxist economics is. It contains a lot of background information and not so much about the contributions to economic thought (contrast with e.g. the section on neoclassical economics). Rather than mercilessly editing the section myself, I suggest some sections for deletion:

A political exile from his native Germany, Marx himself had lived until 1855 in the inner-London slum of Soho, before his wife Jenny inherited money enough to move to the north London suburb of Kentish Town, then still in development.

That same year the Revolutions of 1848 took place and Marx, along with Friedrich Engels published the Communist Manifesto, calling for the workers of the world to unite and fear the loss of nothing but their chains.

Engels himself was heir to a Manchester factory, and though he detested the business,[7] used his profits to help finance Marx's work. After Marx died, it was Engels that completed the second volume of Das Kapital from Marx's notes.

When the World War I and then the Russian Revolution broke out, Kautsky opposed the course of both. He was a member of the Sozialdemokratische Partei Deutschlands and condemned Vladimir Lenin's vision for the Soviet Union. As he wrote in 1934 in Marxism and Bolshevism: Democracy and Dictatorship,

"The Bolsheviks under Lenin’s leadership, however, succeeded in capturing control of the armed forces in Petrograd and later in Moscow and thus laid the foundation for a new dictatorship in place of the old Tsarist dictatorship."[8]

She was married to Sidney Webb, who worked as a minister for Ramsay Macdonald's government. Her political support in Britain was for gradual change through Parliamentary democracy, rather than a Marxian revolution. Yet unlike Kautsky she supported Soviet Russia.

Two more English theorists associated with the LSE were John A. Hobson (1858-1940) and Richard H. Tawney (1880-1963). Hobson argued for better social legislation, in terms of wider powers for trade unions, health and safety standards and a more egalitarian distribution of wealth. Tawney was primarily an economic historian, and was critical of the haphazard method of wealth allocation in the modern world. In his book The Acquisitive Society (1920) he wrote, "It is foolish to maintain property rights for which no service is performed... for payment without service is waste." In his later book, Equality (1931) he advocated "the pooling of surplus resources by means of taxation, and the use of the funds thus obtained to make accessible to all, irrespective of their income, occupation or social position, the conditions of civilization".

Perhaps with the exception of the last paragraph, I feel that the paragraphs are not very relevant with regards to economic thought. The information is definitely interesting, but it also exists on the subpages. Although I am not capable of doing so myself, it would be nice to have more about the significance of Marxism with regards to economic thought. Just my two cents - what do you think? Morten Isaksen (talk) 23:39, 30 July 2009 (UTC)

Your critique seems right on in regard to what this article is trying to do... as to giving general big information without getting bogged up on anyone approach. I would say go ahead and make your changes, as you are suggesting. This article has undergone vast change in the last couple months as to approach and focus, and what your suggesting fits into that direction. A lot of the sections have been pared down, and the Marx section though pared down is still over all too large, so yes, it would probably be an improvement. skip sievert (talk) 02:43, 31 July 2009 (UTC)
I concur, please edit as you suggest. LK (talk) 04:07, 31 July 2009 (UTC)

Thank you both for the comments, I have deleted the suggested paragraphs. Feel free to revert the decision and weigh in if you disagree. Morten Isaksen (talk) 23:21, 31 July 2009 (UTC)

Economic crisis and taking stock

Since the general recognition of the current economic crisis, there have been a lot of, "what's wrong with economics" articles. These vary wildly in quality, a lot of writers are just taking the opportunity to re-argue what they or their allies have been arguing for 30 years, some are obviously uninformed about economics, but some are quite serious. And they still are likely to disagree with each other.

Is it still too early to add this to this article? I think it belongs here rather than over at the Economics article. Summarizing the discussion will also be tricky because there's not a consensus among the writers.CRETOG8(t/c) 16:36, 12 September 2009 (UTC)

I think it may be too early still, for it to be on this article. It seems like a slo-mo train wreck that is still playing out. Perspective on it is probably not possible for a while. It also may be too topical. It all will be written about extensively in the next few years though, as to what happened because of it. Also no doubt a separate article would be in order about the Global economic collapse of such and such or such and such some kind of title with a date... or something as to a new article. The collapse may be half way through itself though currently. It would be good now maybe to start a new article with specific intent to focus on the economic meltdown. - skip sievert (talk) 18:02, 12 September 2009 (UTC)

Micro fork

I was think of starting of starting a History of microeconomic thought article focusing on the major movements in that vein of economics. My current plan would go:

  1. Classical (labor theory of value)
  2. Marginal revolution
  3. Alfred Marshall and Leon Walras
  4. Arrow-Debreu
  5. Stiglitz and information economics

I think these stages make for a nice narrative that cover the core ideas of micro and it's development. Any additions, subtractions, or objections?--Bkwillwm (talk) 00:08, 7 October 2009 (UTC)

I think that we've been in the era of game theory for a while now in micro. Not much of a history person, but my impression is that really hit around 1980? It overlaps a lot with information economics, both in time, and because game theory is the preferred approach to info econ. Others might know better, but there's also possibly two eras of concentration on imperfect competition, the early Joan Robinson stuff, and the more recent game theory/IO approaches. I wouldn't want your rough timeline above to give the impression that nobody thought about imperfect competition until Stiglitz.
It's probably premature, but it's possible we're now in a period of behavioral economics. My perspective is warped, since that's part of what I do, but behavioral econ also gets a lot of popular-press coverage. CRETOG8(t/c) 01:07, 7 October 2009 (UTC)
I think it's better to refocus it as History of modern microeconomic thought, mainly keeping to theories developed in the 20th century (with maybe a bit on the early neoclassicals and classical labour theory of value as an introduction). That way, you avoid repeating much of the stuff here. There is much recent work that's very interesting. Cretog has mentioned behavioral economics and game theory, there's also experimental economics, increasing returns to scale stuff and economic geography, and the extension of microeconomics analysis to fields like politics, sociology and biology. There's been a lot of interesting stuff in the last 30 years. It'ld be great to see a write up of all that stuff. LK (talk) 04:51, 7 October 2009 (UTC)

Islamic economics

So... is this article suggesting that the muslims and the islamic civilizations made their golden age without economic thought? Or is there some bigoted bias against Islam and it's history here? Or perhaps the threat of a resurgence of Islamic economics is too great to be mentioned? Faro0485 (talk) 15:29, 19 October 2009 (UTC)

Not at all. You are welcome to float your ideas here as to including different information... and to make any specific proposal you care to, as in making the article more informative or creative in expression. skip sievert (talk) 16:41, 19 October 2009 (UTC)

What About Henry George?

Henry George was perhaps the most read American Ecconomist of the era that followed Karl Marx. George's importance in economic thought is significant because he was the first to put the subject in a logical form and to make it clear that the subject must first include definitions before discussion and logical analysis. George wrote on a number of economic topics which were current during his life.

His seminal book "Progress and Poverty" of 1879 (sold more than 4 million copies) openned with the "Great Enigma of our Times" which is equally enigmatic tody. He asked, why in a world of wonderful new technology, is the gap between the rich and the poor not closing? Indeed it is widening. After a discussion about the various views on Political Science (particularly Adam Smith and David Ricado) and some definitions, George analyses the status of industry and describes the way that it is controlled by monopolies, particulary in that of the natural resources, namely land. He proposes that a tax on land-values would not only better meet Smith's "Cannons of Taxation" (that is be easier to collect and be harder to deny etc.) but would make the opportunity withheld by land-owners more uniformly shared, thereby giving the landless community (particularly the working class) a more equal chance to earn without being unfairly treated.

He went on to show that the business cycles (still a common experience today) are basically due to fluctuations in land prices brought about by speculation in the land values and that once these are stabilized by the introduction of the new tax there would be greater general prosperity.

George narrowly missed being elected Mayor of New-York in the rigged elections of 1897. Just before he died (during that election), his answer to a question of his "great friendship of Labor and the working man" was that he is in favor of all men. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 85.65.25.97 (talk) 16:00, 27 October 2009 (UTC)

Henry George was a great man, and in his own terms, a great economist. He was extremely popular, and for that reason alone, some mention of him should appear on this page. However, apart from some presentational issues, his contributions to Economic Thought have just not been that significant. His observation that a tax on land is in many senses the 'best' tax, is an application of standard economic theory, not an extension of it. Likewise, his observation about monopolies, and the profits and concentration of wealth that accrue from such. His argument that business cycles are brought on by fluctuations in land prices is contradicted by modern experience.
I say all this as a supporter of Henry George, who largely agrees with his positions, and who would love to see most taxes replaced by a land and natural resource use tax. I think he was right about many things, and that his positions are largely reconcilable with modern economic theory. But I do not think there should be that much discussion about him, as he just did not contribute that much to economic theory itself. LK (talk) 17:28, 27 October 2009 (UTC)

The present bubble burst in land prices is the cause of the current economic crisis, so George was and is right about this significant aspect of "business cycles". The comment on this aspect of Georges explanation is not justified in fact! Whilst I am not a great expert on George, there is a need to include his name and contributions to this list of economic thinkers.

I agree that he deserves a mention, and that the last big crash was in large part driven by a boom in the real estate (not land!) market, but many of the 20th century recessions were not caused by land booms, the Great Depression for instance. It would be good if you could craft a short entry on Henry George in the appropriate section (probably in the 'Institutionalism' section). I would do so myself, but I have a self-imposed restraint not to add anything about georgism or Henry George to articles not directly related to him. LK (talk) 15:18, 30 October 2009 (UTC)

The Progress of History

I notice one of the persistently disruptive, and anti-knowledge users has been removed from the encyclopedia: User:Skipsievert. He was primarily responsible for making this article a mess. So now maybe it can actually become a useful source of information again. I've started by deleting (1) the contemporary economic thought section. This was unreferenced tosh, which was apparently one of Skipsievert's pet topics. And I'm also (2) deleting the ancient economics stuff at the start. I think every sentient person will agree that websites are not an acceptable source of information. Wikidea 18:20, 21 November 2009 (UTC)

The contemporary economics section was the product of many editors, and its inclusion was a consensus decision. Many people besides Skipievert contributed to the section and even more agreed that the article needs to address contemporary economic thought beyond the "global times" section. I'm going to restore the section and throw in some more references. It's generally better to flag uncited statements than delete an entire section, especially when that section was the product of a talk page discussion.--Bkwillwm (talk) 23:24, 21 November 2009 (UTC)
This is an encyclopedia. We should be serious about that principle. So that means we can't just "throw in some more references" to justify a previously existing random collection of ideas. That would breach the original research policy. This is a page that needs to be created from credible sources, ie library books, and peer reviewed articles. I wouldn't for a second say that there may not have been valuable information there, but it is better restored, if anywhere, to another page. Wikidea 00:17, 22 November 2009 (UTC)
The contemporary economics section wasn't just a "random collection of ideas." I think it did a fairly good job of representing the major, mainstream ideas of recent economics. Several people made contributions to that section, and you stripped it once one of those people got banned. Yes, the section did need work, but deleting a section isn't the same as improving it. I think it's clear that post-1970s economics isn't dealt with well in this article. There's the "global times section," which doesn't say much about the ideas of Sen, Krugman, and Stiglitz; Moreover, Stiglitz's main contributions are to microeconomics and not international economics. It only took a day after you removed the contemporary economics section for someone new to come along and say that the article was weak on that subject area. If you didn't like aspects of the contemporary economics section, than please make changes to it and discuss it here. If you want to start from stratch with your own version thats fine too, but you really need to address this problem with the article instead of making it worse.--Bkwillwm (talk) 04:24, 23 November 2009 (UTC)
I restored the macro section and cited parts of a peer-reviewed article by Greg Mankiw that discusses recent developments in macro. Other sources to cite can easily be found. I don't know what your "original research" concerns were or why you think economic history shouldn't cover post-1970 economics.--Bkwillwm (talk) 03:15, 25 November 2009 (UTC)
Good, I like it! Thanks very much for going to the effort. Wikidea 10:42, 25 November 2009 (UTC)

Reinstating Adam Smith

I originally thought Adam was quite important. I think I was right. So I'm putting him back in, in full. Wikidea 18:25, 21 November 2009 (UTC)

Yes, it's absurd to include some of these people in here but not have a huge part of Adam Smith. His work was arguably more influential after his death, but still extremely influential none-the-less.Seelum (talk) 01:56, 22 November 2009 (UTC)

Ronald Coase

Ronald Coase really has no business being under the "Monetarism and the Chicago School" heading. His work in New Institutional Economics has barely anything to do with monetarism of the school of economic thought typically considered the "Chicago School." He merely worked at the University of Chicago, but it's inaccurate to subscribe him to this movement. While some of his work does incorporate the idea of some degree of rational expectations which has its origins in the Chicago School, the idea of some degree of expectations is accepted almost universally in economics and only the extreme form is part of the Chicago School so it's wrong to subscribe this to the Chicago School of thought. I don't know where to place Ronald Coase in this article, but it's not under the Chicago school. If anything, he should fall under the "Institutional" section and be considered the counter movement to it with his New Institutional Economics.Seelum (talk) 01:55, 22 November 2009 (UTC)

I agree. Originally it was not at all called the "Chicago school", but simply "Chicago's conservatives", or something similar. I think that the whole idea of "schools" is a bit silly, because everyone has their own individual take on all sorts of issues. What do think a good name for the section is? Change that, and the problem of where to put him goes away. Wikidea 09:39, 23 November 2009 (UTC)

Modern Economics + Globalization

This article is missing something extremely important. It stops at Monetarism and ignores the huge movement in the 1970s. It only briefly mentions the Phillips curve debacle and stagflation; but this arguably led to a huge movement in economics towards this hyper-rational school of thought (which I, along with no less than Milton Friedman, who's ideas originated the work, consider absurd) which eventually led to New classical macroeconomics with the Rational expectations, Efficient market hypothesis, Policy Ineffectiveness Proposition etc. Essentially an attack of Keynesianism, this led to New Keynesian Economics (the history of this article doesn't go back far enough, I'll fix it later) which now appears to be superseding rational expectations in the last 15 years in its ability to explain markets, especially it's resurgent prominence due to the current recession. This is a huge part of economic thought of the last 40 years that needs to be addressed. I'll try to write it up, but some help would be cool.

Also, the globalization section seems weird. Joseph Stiglitz hasn't really done much work in global development, in terms of making significant impact on the school of thought. He has been a prominent critic of how globalization has been managed, but he didn't originate these criticisms, he merely made them notable to the wider public. His key insights have been information asymmetries and how they affect micro and macro markets. That is hugely significant in the field (as evidence by how often he is cited in just about every field of economics) and that deserves a space of his own, not this nonsense about his globalization work. Amartya Sen being mentioned is a bit odd also since his work is not really about globalization per-say, but rather about developing economies. This also didn't really transform economic thought. No doubt, his work was influential; but I'm convinced that his impact in economic thought is substantial enough to deserve his own space. In terms of globalization, Paul Krugman is probably the most influential, but there are others that could be included.

The modern history of economics and the globalization sections needs a big clean-up, in my view, is it alright if I add on the things I mentioned (obviously with more detail)?

The rest of this article is actually quite good, it jut lags off toward the end.

Seelum (talk) 02:15, 22 November 2009 (UTC)

All right. The sections on Friedman etc need to be much better. I think Stiglitz is important as an economics of the public sector character. You know he worked for the IMF, right? Maybe, again, we just need to rename the heading! Wikidea 09:48, 23 November 2009 (UTC)