Sunday, September 26, 2010

Bernanke on economic engineering

Speech by Chairman Ben S. Bernanke, At the Conference Co-sponsored by the Center for Economic Policy Studies and the Bendheim Center for Finance, Princeton University, Princeton, New Jersey, September 24, 2010

Implications of the Financial Crisis for Economics.

"Although economists have much to learn from this crisis, as I will discuss, I think that calls for a radical reworking of the field go too far. In particular, it seems to me that current critiques of economics sometimes conflate three overlapping yet separate enterprises, which, for the purposes of my remarks today, I will call economic science, economic engineering, and economic management. Economic science concerns itself primarily with theoretical and empirical generalizations about the behavior of individuals, institutions, markets, and national economies. Most academic research falls in this category. Economic engineering is about the design and analysis of frameworks for achieving specific economic objectives. Examples of such frameworks are the risk-management systems of financial institutions and the financial regulatory systems of the United States and other countries. Economic management involves the operation of economic frameworks in real time--for example, in the private sector, the management of complex financial institutions or, in the public sector, the day-to-day supervision of those institutions. "

Just for fun, here's a link to
Roth, Alvin E., "The Economist as Engineer: Game Theory, Experimentation, and Computation as Tools for Design Economics," Fisher-Schultz Lecture, Econometrica, 70,4, July 2002, 1341-1378.

HT to Wirtschafts-Ingenieur Axel Ockenfels

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