From Freakonomics to Political Economy
Abstract In this response to the symposium on our two books we try to deal as fully as possible in the brief space available with most of the major issues raised by our distinguished commentators. Although at least three of them are in agreement with the main thrust of the arguments put forward in our books, they all raise important issues relating to methodology, the history of economic thought (including omissions), and a number of more specific issues. Our answer is based on the restatement of the chief purpose of our two books, describing the intellectual history of the evolution of economic science emphasising the role of the excision of the social and the historical from economic theorising in the transition from (classical) political economy to (neoclassical) economics, only for the two to be reunited through the vulgar form of economics imperialism following the monolithic dominance of neoclassical economics at the expense of pluralism after the Second World War. The importance of political economy for the future of economic science is vigorously argued for.