Talk:The New Palgrave Dictionary of Economics

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Restoration of "Subject index" section for 1987 New Palgrave[edit]

Why is the old edition's index notable? There is no secondary sourcing for this index, which has been abandoned by the new edition of the NP.

In fact, the old index is not maintained by the NP's online site: At least I could not use it!  Kiefer.Wolfowitz  (Discussion) 21:03, 15 February 2011 (UTC)

The dictionary is not an economic classification system. If secondary reliable sources can be found establishing notability for the classification system (abandoned by the second edition), then it might be useful to restore the category for the article (or to spin-off an article or list of the NP system), IF it be notable and referenced in secondary literature.  Kiefer.Wolfowitz  (Discussion) 19:24, 17 February 2011 (UTC)
Hello, KW. I hope that you continue to be well. Others might find the following of interest too, so let me go to a new line and try to address points above, numbering my points for ease of reference.────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────

1T. Those who find the 2008 NP use of JEL classification codes of interest might find similarly so the "Subject Index" (next subsection below) of The New Palgrave: A Dictionary of Economics (1987). Indeed they might find it thought-provoking in its own terms and by comparison to the JEL codes. Surely it is the most well-articulated alternative alternative to the JEL codes.

2T. The full-text NP 1987 is only accessible by subscription. That might make partial inclusion of the "Subject Index" here of further interest.

3T. There may be reason to question whether the NP 1987 "Subject Index" is also a classification system. It is, by inspection of the section below, and is so identified by John K. Whitaker, 1989, "Palgrave Resurrected: A Review Article," Journal of Political Economy, 97(2), pp. 480-496 at p. 482:

Substantive entries are reclassified in ... volume 4's ... appendix 4, somewhat mistitled a "Subject Index," [which] allocates each entry to one and only one subject category.

The "Subject Index" is also referenced in:

  • R. E. Bailey (1994),"A Voyage Round Economics: The New Palgrave Dictionaries of Economics, and Money and Finance," Economic Journal, 104(424), pp. 660-67
  • Murray Milgate (1992). "Reviewing the reviews of the New Palgrave," Revue européenne des sciences sociales (English translation of journal title: "European Review of Social Sciences") (Librairie Droz) 30 (92), pp. 279–312.

So, it seems to pass the notability test. --Thomasmeeks (talk) 19:55, 23 February 2013 (UTC)

Subject Index[edit]

In the present edition, articles are classified according to the Journal of Economic Literature (JEL) classification codes.

In the old edition, the JEL codes were not used. Instead, the entries were partitioned into its "Subject Index (sub)classifications".

  1. History of Thought and Doctrine: classical economics, Marxian economics, doctrines, schools of thought
  2. Cognate Areas: philosophy, methodology, rationality & behaviour, anthropology, history
  3. Natural and Human Resources: agriculture & land, environment, labour & employment, population, justice, inequality, & discrimination
  4. Social and Political Organization: public finance, welfare economics, planned economies, social choice & public choice, law & economics
  5. Economic Organization: economic organization, transaction cost, industrial organization, monopoly & oligopoly, conflict & war, game theory, risk & uncertainty
  6. Techniques: mathematical economics, mathematical methods, statistical methods, private accounting and social accounting, econometrics, time series
  7. Money and Macroeconomics: finance, monetary theory & institutions, international monetary economics, macroeconomic theory & policy
  8. Dynamics, Growth, and Development: investment, cycles, economic growth, technical change, development, international trade, spatial economics
  9. Value and Capital: competition, utility, consumers' demand, & index numbers, production, cost, & supply, general equilibrium, capital theory, distribution
  10. Miscellaneous: American Economic Association, Palgrave's Dictionary, economics libraries, Royal Economic Society
  11. Biographies by Country: Britain & Ireland, Germany, Austria, Low Countries, Italy & S. Europe, Scandinavia, E. Europe, N. America, Asia, Australia & New Zealand, Japan, S. Africa, S. America & Caribbean.

Fringe -- POV Logic?[edit]

Fringe science and WP:FRINGE is something that "significantly departs" from the mainstream and has no "scholarly opinion ... [in] the mainstream view." In the case of academic economics, Solow has the heterodoxs "within" academia, albeit on the fringe. But the key words are "scholarly opinion" and "within". Labeling the heterodoxs as fringe science uses a twisted, POV logic. It says 1. Fringe science is outside the mainstream of science. 2. Heterodoxs are outside the mainstream of economics. 3. Therefore heterodox economics are fringe science. (This line of reasoning fails because it makes no distinction as to inside or outside the mainstream.) In the alternative, the logic is 1. Heterodoxs are on the fringe of economic academia. (It does not matter if they are inside the fringe or outside.) 2. Fringe science is on the fringe of scientific academia (and outside by definition). 2. With both fringe science and the heterodoxs, it is appropriate to call them "fringe". 3. Because they are called "fringe", it is appropriate to call heterodoxs "fringe science". (Again the logic fails because of the lack of distinction between inside or outside.) Adding "fringe science" wikilinks, even as a see also, is a POV slur on the heterodoxs.--S. Rich (talk) 17:00, 22 August 2011 (UTC)

Solow used the phrase "the fringes" to refer to several kinds of non-mainstream economics (Austrain, neo-Ricardian, Marxist). It is a precisely sourced, reliable and high quality source. He does not refer to "heterodox" economics. You don't want "fringe" to be glossed.
This is not the place for you to expound your views on fringe science and heterodox economics. It is the place to discuss improvements to the article using high quality reliable sources.  Kiefer.Wolfowitz
I beg your pardon. Solow described where the Austrians, etc., were (e.g., "within academic economics"), not what they were. I don't think he ever says "These guys are outside the fringe" or "these theories are fringe economics". In the NYT review he simply says they are getting more than a fair shake in Palgrave. And he is certainly not seeking to characterize them with a fringe science label. Correct, he does not use the term heterodox in the review, but is there an acceptable catch-all term that Solow uses (in the review or elsewhere) to describe the Austrians, etc.? I would be happy to use it here. But my concern is that editors are using Solow to say "the Austrians (etc.) are at, but within, the fringe of mainstream economics therefore they are 'fringe economics'". My restatements (above) of the POV logic simply restates how these editors want to describe or rationalize labeling the Austrians, etc. as Fringe science.--S. Rich (talk) 18:55, 22 August 2011 (UTC)
Let me add this I'm gonna add this -- this is more a question of what glossing is appropriate. If simple editor "glossing" of the term fringe was needed, that would be one thing. (E.g., does the reader need to know what are the distinctions between mainstream econ and HE, and how will glossing assist the reader?) In this case, however, the "gloss" "fringe science" is POV, straight and simple! The sole purpose of the gloss was to tar and feather schools of economic thought with the pejorative fringe science. There was no RS provided for the slight, it was supported merely by the opinion of certain editors. --S. Rich (talk) 05:48, 26 August 2011 (UTC)

technical economics vs. mathematical economics[edit]

I am hardly an economics student, so the little edit spat over technical and mathematical economics seems quite abstruse. The list of subjects and authors for Palgrave [1] shows "mathematical economics" as a subject and we have a mathematical economics article. We do not have "technical economics" or "contemporary economics" in either Palgrave or WP. How can you guys/gals make this more helpful to the readers? --S. Rich (talk) 06:28, 25 August 2011 (UTC)

Well, I hope less abstruse than one or the other of our related Edit summaries might have suggested. "Contemporary economics" is the other discussant's term, which I don't object to in the present context. It's just a descriptive term, not an econ-jargon term. Same for "technical economics". The latter term occurs in the indented Solow quotation of the New Palgrave#Contemporary economics and its technical core [2] along with 4 other similar uses of 'technical' or 'technique' in the same space from the end of the article and indent-quoted in its entirety at The New Palgrave Dictionary of Economics#Contemporary economics and its technical core. "Mathematics" and "mathematical" occurs at the beginning of the Solow article only, unsurprisingly in connection with game theory.[3] No mention of "mathematical economics" occurs in the article. So, the point is to try using language closer to Solow’s. Solow’s article appeared in the New York Times, so for a general audience.
Here’s a little bit more for anyone interested. At Template talk:Economics sidebar#Template heading: (A) "Technical methods" versus (E) "Mathematical and quantitative methods" (5T) & (15T), there are relevant usages and dictionary definitions cited of 'technical' and 'technique' as applicable to econ and a link to the Subject Index of the NP1987 including under #6 (of 11) of "Techniques" to include: mathematical economics, mathematical methods, statistical methods, private accounting & social accounting, econometrics, and time series where each of the relevant NP1987 articles were categorized (for anyone who might want to follow up on related subjects of a NP1987 article). That gives a suggestive list of what the 'technical' or 'technique' might refer to in Econ. So, 'technical' or 'technique' in econ can be more general than just "mathematical methods", "mathematics", or Math econ would suggest. --Thomasmeeks (talk) 22:03, 25 August 2011 (UTC)
Solow had some interesting and wise words: ". . . intellectual issues become intrinsically contestable. It is not so clear what would constitute a correct answer, or how you would know one if you saw one. Economics is likely to be contaminated by ideology." What I see (as a non-econ layperson) in this article (and others) is the "contestability" of these "intellectual issues" interfering with "seeing" and "knowing" the "correct answers". The overall issue I see here is that editors are getting "wrapped around the axle" (an Army idiom) by "ideology" that they are missing the opportunity to improve articles which will be helpful to the readers. Step back, guys and gals, and WP:MTAA! --S. Rich (talk) 05:22, 26 August 2011 (UTC)

Stigler's page 1731[edit]

Stigler uses "technical economics" for "mathematical economics" (and perhaps fads?....), when he complains that the New Palgrave ignores empirical economics, including data, summary statistics, econometric theory and investigations, etc.

It seems that venial economists write "technical economics" when they should mean "mathematical economics" and honest economists write "technical economics" sometimes as an alternative to "mathematical economics".  Kiefer.Wolfowitz 13:15, 26 February 2012 (UTC)