Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Guru Madhavan on economists and engineers

Guru Madhavan has a new book, Applied Minds: How Engineers Think.
I liked it enough to write a blurb for the cover:
“Guru Madhavan not only dispels any hint of darkness concerning how engineers think, his delightful book explains how the designed world of machines and systems interacts with the social world in which we use the tools that engineers give us.” (Alvin Roth, winner of the Nobel Prize in Economics and author of Who Gets What―and Why)"

Now he's published an article in Wired, whose headline conceals how well he thinks engineering and economics go together. I'm guessing he didn't write the headline. Somewhat misleadingly it's called Irrational humans need engineers, not economists.  In fact, he's enthusiastic about market design as the engineering part of economics.

He concludes
"Through an increased reliance on engineers -- or better yet, rethinking economics using the principles of engineering - policymakers can develop more effective solutions to social challenges."

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