Archive for March 13th, 2012

Why Phd Programs educate idiot savants?

March 13, 2012

First what does idiot savant mean?

Idiot savants are a group of humans that are incapable of learning, writing or reading, yet they have unlimited access to specific, accurate knowledge in the fields of mathematics, music, and other precise areas. 


European Phd programs in 1990s converted themselves into US style Phd Programs. This led to both +ves and -ves. So much so people called it post-autistic economics!!

One major -ve was seen that students were not really interested in policy and relevant work in economics. They are more interested in just learning the tools  in the phd program. Hence the term idiot savants where though people have so much opportunity to learn but stick to the status quo.

Asser Lindbeck had once said grad programs dont train enough two legged econs who master both techniques and have a flair for real world problems.

In this paper Jesper Roine of Stockholm School of Economics evaluates the students at Phd Program at SSE.


How framing questions leads to different answers on benefits of trade….

March 13, 2012

We usually swear by free trade and rubbish whoever argues against free trade…After all, one of the first lessons of economics is  comparative advantage (on which trade is based) and how the whole country/society benefits from trading.

Dani Rodrik on his blog points Lant Pritchett and Larry Summers teach a course on globalisation at Harvard. The duo invited Rodrik to speak to the class and warned him that most of the students are pro-globalization.


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