Saturday, February 17, 2007

Hi Ja*q, i apologize if i offended u in anyway in my last post. i still hope to engage you on the issue between economics and social life.

if you will, visit this site to listen to how 4 bright young economists talk about the new economics, what they call the behavioural economics, you can view the comments on how people think about the new breed of economists.

Prof Diane Coyle, an economist, was asked on the show what makes economics so special and different from the other social science, here is her reply:

'what makes economics is that it's a science...a science of how humans behave and a science of society...and that means developing a theory, a model about why people do things they do, why certain kinds of decisions happen, by posting some hypotheses and being able to test them...and reject them if they are false... it's the application of the scientific method to how human society operates'

is economics really a science? i cant answer that. but what i can say is that various social sciences has been studying about human behaviour for decades, and other social sciences also have been relying on researchs to prove if certain theories are right. in this aspect, economics is just a new kid in the block.

the economists in the talkshow mentioned that with advance info-comm tech, there are many datas for them to study. to quote them, its 'raining datas'. however, those datas are not collected by themselves. they are using datas collected by other people for other purposes, this is a crucial loophole in any social research because social researchers are supposed to design their own research and collect their own data to ensure validility of their study.

dun get me wrong, i appreciate the importance of economics in social life. infact, well before the industrial revolution, economics have been playing a huge role in social relations. however, economists have to start appreciating the existence of other social sciences and not think of itself as superior to the rest. economics is but just a part of social life, institutions and culture cant be undermined. human rationality is not always about demand and supply and price.

you are right to say that sociologists cannot make a difference to the world. however, sociologists did not set out to change the world. sociologists aim to understand and appreciate the society we are living in. impractical i presume, but wouldn it be sad if we cannot even understand why social life is the way it is? there lies the difference between economics and sociology. economics look to predict the future while sociology is more interested in describing social phenomenal.

sociology is not superior to economics. in order to understand social life, sociologists depend alot of economics. to get a holistic view of the economy and social life, all disciplines in social sciences have to be put together and examined under the same microscope.

therefore, back to my very original point. our nation shld not be run like a MNC. economics is not everything.

i look forward to a reply from you.

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