Dani Rodrik has a brilliant column in ‘Project Syndicate’ on economics:
Economics is not the kind of science in which there could ever be one true model that works best in all contexts. The point is not “to reach a consensus about which model is right,” as Romer puts it, but to figure out which model applies best in a given setting. And doing that will always remain a craft, not a science, especially when the choice has to be made in real time.
He is right. The search is not to replace the perceived universality of ‘rational self-interested economic agent and efficient markets’ with another model that claims universality. The learning is to recognise that there is none.
‘The end of G.D.P’ – a review article by Katy Lederer on a book by
Dirk Philipsen, the author of the new book “The Little Big Number: How GDP Came to Rule The World and What To Do About It” (Princeton University Press), is not the first to question the utility of G.D.P. estimates, but he may be the most exasperated.
The review essay makes you want to read the book. The essay itself is a great way to introduce students to the limitations of GDP.