The 1-2-3 Toolbox of Mainstream Economics: Promising Everything, Delivering Nothing

The 1-2-3 Toolbox of Mainstream Economics: Promising Everything, Delivering Nothing
Bichler, Shimshon and Nitzan, Jonathan. (2021). Real-World Economics Review. No. 98. December. pp. 23-48. (Article - Journal; English).

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Abstract or Brief Description

We write this essay for both lay readers and scientists, though mainstream economists are welcome to enjoy it too. Our subject is the basic toolbox of mainstream economics. The most important tools in this box are demand, supply and equilibrium. All mainstream economists – as well as many heterodox ones – use these tools, pretty much all the time. They are essential. Without them, the entire discipline collapses. But in our view, these are not scientific tools. Economists manipulate them on paper with impeccable success (at least in their own opinion). But the manipulations are entirely imaginary. Contrary to what economists tell us, demand, supply and equilibrium do not carry over to the actual world: they cannot be empirically identified; they cannot be observed, directly or indirectly; and they certainly cannot be objectively measured. And this is a problem because science without objective empirical tools is hardly science at all.



Publication Type

Article - Journal


demand econometrics equilibrium neoclassical economics science supply


BN Methodology
BN Theory
BN Value & Price
BN Data & Statistics
BN Hegemony

Depositing User

Jonathan Nitzan

Date Deposited

16 Dec 2021 19:00

Last Modified

17 Dec 2021 16:59


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