Hey all,

In addition to what has already been said, Phil Mirowski's recent book is exactly about this question and explains the intellectual ideas, think tanks, universities, individuals, etc that create, support, and perpetuate neoliberal ideas. Mirowski asserts not only that the economics profession failed to see the crisis coming but that neoliberalism is stronger after the crisis than it was before. Hence the title, Never let a Serious Crisis go to Waste."

Here's the link. There are a number of useful reviews there. The one from Protestantethic (no one I know) discussed the question of "rigidity" specifically. 




Sent from my iPhone

On Jun 24, 2015, at 1:52 PM, Eric Hake <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

Jairo, Wolfram, etc,

Hopefully this isn't too disjointed.

In an entirely American context, I have been thinking about Jairo's request for information in light of
Jon Stewart's (he has a news parody show that is one of the better sources of news in America) public
statement in response to the Charleston SC shootings (a white man killed 9 black people at a church).
Jon Stewart's comment was that he was utterly confident in only one thing - that America would do nothing in response to the shootings.   Watching the show, I could not help but think of the economic profession's response to the financial crisis and the role of cultural constraints, ceremonial values, imbecile institutions, status quo, conventional wisdom, blind drift, hysteresis, path dependency, or all of the many other frameworks that are applied to the fact that we seem to collectively be idiots, most of the time.

If it would be useful for your current inquiry, the drift of conversation as I saw it in US regarding the post-crisis debate involved various authors noting that it was a shame more people didn't study economic history, or cultural context, or criticisms of finance theory etc, etc, etc. prior to the crisis. This was then followed by pointing out that some people were actually researching these issues so the state of the economics profession was "mostly healthy" and we still need to protect the discipline from too much contemplative soul-searching, or else the barbarian horde will swarm in.   Again, in an American context, this was the state of things as described by Mark Thoma, Paul Krugman, Brad DeLong, etc.

Such statements do of course ignore the fact that the last 30 years has been a fairly systematic wiping out of most of us involved in a criticism of mainstream economic methodology and policy conclusions.  Any attempt to bring to light the relevance of past criticisms and the vindication for much of the heterodox critique is then easily deflected as Monday morning quarter-backing, sour-grapes, embittered wannabe economists, non-economists making economic statements, chasing ghosts, etc. etc. etc.

I guess I'm sort of in a mid-summer slump here.  I should probably schedule myself for one of the summertime heterodox conferences to deal with this in a more positive way.

Peace out,

Eric Hake

On 6/24/2015 10:33 AM, Wolfram Elsner wrote:
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In systems analysis this rigidity is known as hysteresis or equifinality


… relates to ceremonial institutions, under conditions of dominant ceremonial values …





Wolfram Elsner

Professor of Economics, University of Bremen, Business Studies & Economics
iino – Institute of Institutional & Innovation Economics,



Von: AFEEMAIL Discussion List [mailto:[log in to unmask]] Im Auftrag von Hayo Siemsen
Gesendet: Mittwoch, 24. Juni 2015 09:01
An: [log in to unmask]
Betreff: Re: [AFEEMAIL] Inquiry


Hello Jairo,

psychologically, this is called "rigidity". I have an article just published, which partly deals with the issue. You can access it freely at http://www.scirp.org/Journal/PaperInformation.aspx?PaperID=56169

It happens more often in science, not only with neoclassical economics. I do a rigidity experiment with my students, where you can show that 70% of people behave rigidly after 10 minutes introduction of training thoughts in a specific direction, even after telling them that the experiment is about rigidity. It is very difficult to escape. One needs training in "meta-methodology" in order to keep oneself open to alternative ways of thought. This of course is not part of the curriculum normally.



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