Sunday, June 03, 2007

What do the heterodox want?

There has been a huge controversy about mainstream vs. heterodox economics and economists boiling on the web. But one thing I've not seen is a statement of what the heterodox actually want. Quotas? Sympathy? The abolition of journal rankings and the social science citation index? Jobs given out by lottery?

I know WHEN they want what they want (right about NOW, funk soul brother), but am just not sure WHAT is is they actually want.

Now I should say that I actually have some heterodox bones of my own and I understand the frustration of not getting one's work fully recognized. One line of my research attempts to show that political changes affect monetary policy in the US (clearly a heterodox proposition). An essay to that effect from my dissertation was published in the Journal of Monetary Economics in 1991. However, the paper was written in 1983 and rejected by at least 6 top journals in economics and political science (including an early rejection by the JME) before getting "in". I just kept cursing and revising and polishing the argument. Even after that "success" I couldn't get any follow ups published until Tony Caporale and I got a piece in the JLE in 1998. That seemed to open the door as we have also gotten such work in the JMCB and Political Analysis since.

So my homies from a heterodox planet, what shall we do?


Anonymous said...

Your post is really useful to me. You see, here, in Brazil, heterodox is not more not less than marxists or post-keynesians. Your work, here, would be classified as orthodox. It's interesting because, in Brazil, the heterodox's guys claim to be victims of prejudice but they are not tolerant with, for example, hayekians, libertarians or, you see, public choicers....

thanks for the post

Mungowitz said...

Angus has a beef, but note the response.

He kept writing other papers, and kept working on the controversial paper.

And has published a lot since.

His methods and assumptions are, in fact, orthodox. He just came up with a novel conclusion. Referees found that threatening. But he may win, in the end.

The "Heterodox" folks for whom I have little patience are those who say "No one will publish my work." And then I look at their c.v., and it appears that this assumption on their part absolved them from WORKING. You have to write something to get discriminated against.

Angus, him I'll listen to on this subject. You people who just claim the world hates you....well, you may be right. But the world has cause.