The Economic Crisis and Economics


The Economic Crisis and Economics



Since the outset of the economic crisis in 2008 Nobel Laureates Paul Krugman and Joseph Stiglitz and other economists have indicted the economics profession for its failure to predict the crisis. They argue rightly that the profession became overcommitted to economic models that prevented economists from worrying about the possibility of economic crisis. Indeed, leading economists continued to express confidence in the financial system even after warning signs were indicating that a crisis was imminent. But the critics have failed to appreciate the ethical obligations of the profession, and the way in which the profession’s historic refusal to engage its professional ethical responsibilities led economists to advocate policies that were far too dangerous, and that contributed to the crisis. The crisis in economics that has resulted from the economic crisis poses a new challenge and opportunity: to inaugurate the new field of professional economic ethics.

George DeMartino is professor of economics at the Josef Korbel School of International Studies, University of Denver.

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economic crisis, economic models, financial systems, economic profession, economists, professional ethics



The Economic Crisis and Economics