January 24, 2003
Taking On 'Rational Man'
Dissident economists fight for a niche in the discipline
How do you start a fire under a huge wet blanket? A faction of disgruntled economists says that is their predicament.
Their efforts to open the field to diverse views are smothered, they say, by an orthodoxy -- neoclassical economics and its derivatives -- that is indulgently theoretical and mathematical in its aspiration to be more "scientific" than any other social science.
Although it is inadequate to explain human behavior, they say, that brand of economics