Marrying economics with policy

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Alan Blinder on the clash between economics and policy:

In the academic world, where we routinely prepare papers that perhaps two dozen other people will ever read, the standards of evidence are quite strict. Proofs must be exact. Econometric techniques must be up to snuff. Scholarly papers routinely get rejected by journals for picayune errors. And what is at stake in the answer? Nothing but scientific integrity. But in the world of policy, where so much is at stake, the hurdle of evidence is set pathetically low.

His main conclusion:

Good economic policy is best achieved through a series of carefully arranged marriages between cerebral economists and worldly politicos.

Via Arnold Kling, who also offers his ambitious (idealistic) hopes on the subject:

I think it would be better for the economist to communicate with the public than to try to use relationships with politicians to make an end run around the public... if the public were more receptive to good economics, then good economic policy would not be so difficult to enact.

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