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Where do economists fail today?

#138 - Russ Roberts

March 17

Economists focus too much on thing that are measurable, and forget about other things.

For example, if you look at medicine, it might seem like a binary problem: people either live or they die. But what about quality of life? If you are living a horrible life under treatment, and you die shortly after the treatment ends, this is not a victory, it's a mistake.

What about dignity? We might be able to write checks for anyone whose job is being replaced by a robot, but guess what, many people would prefer to find another job instead. There is a sense of dignity in being able to work for money, which you then use to provide for your family.

The data often struggles to help economists to make a non-quantifiable decision. It's important to realize that, and understand that sometimes a decisions cannot be made on data alone.


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