El siguiente post de Tyler Cowan es un buen punto de partida para preguntarnos por el interés que puede tener la economí­ ­a heterodoxa. Dice Cowan:

The very existence of heterodox economics brings benefits. A personal anecdote will suffice. My first two publications were both in heterodox journals: the Journal of Post Keynesian Economics and the (institutionalist) Review of Social Economy. These articles lifted me into a top graduate school and financial aid (can you imagine how confused the admissions committees were to see a GMU undergrad with an apparently leftie publication record?). I would not have had comparable success at Econometrica.

This tale relates to the value of diversity more generally. We will miss much of the value of diversity by simply listing a bunch of diverse elements and evaluating them one-by-one. Diversity brings broader benefits by allowing people to use niches as ladders to further steps, frequently into the mainstream, or in my case into another niche. Diversity is also a form of insurance, and of course it doesn’t always pay off. Finally many excellent mainstream or sometimes even right-wing economists started with an intense interest in social justice, often gleaned from heterodox writings. Vernon Smith was once a socialist, and George Stigler was early on a trust-basher.

Yes the profession is getting better but we also are losing too much diversity in terms of schools of thought. The diminution of the Austrian School, as an organized and intellectually alive phenomenon seems to me a shame, even though I don’t believe in a unique Austrian method. Heterodoxies encourage the mainstream to be more philosophical and more self-reflective.

Sometimes intellectual inefficiency is efficient, and my remarks about heterodox economics should be taken in this light.

Podrí­a comentar una por una las ventajas que Cowan atribuye a la diversida de doctinas economicas independientemente de su veracidad, pero me parece que se explican a sí­ ­ mismas. También podrí­a referirme a la diversidad en sí­ misma tal como he hecho otras veces. Pero lo que quiero decir ahora sin embargo es algo más radical, que no es bueno tomar muy en serio la autoridad tal como expliqué en el Artí­culo de Expansion Bla, bla, bla.