And there's plenty of evidence that having an economist run your country's economic policy is no help whatsoever. Last week, Joachim Wehner of the LSE and Mark Hallerberg of the Hertie School of Governance in Berlin published some research that looked at educational backgrounds of political leaders across Europe. Since 1973, 69% of Greek finance ministers and 55% of those in Portugal have had a PhD in economics; a qualification unknown to any British chancellor.
In his book 23 Things They Don't Tell You About Capitalism, the Cambridge economist Ha-Joon Chang points out that in recent history economic policy in Japan, Taiwan, China and South Korea has largely been set by lawyers or engineers. In India and Pakistan on the other hand, many world-class economists have been in charge of the treasury – yet their record have been no match for the Asian tiger economies.
Tuesday, 15 November 2011
There is something fundamentally wrong with Economics