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Deirdre Nansen McCloskey with Bettering Humanomics: A New, and Old, Approach to Economic Science — HBE ENGAGE EVENT
July 20, 2021
Deirdre Nansen McCloskey is distinguished professor emerita of economics and of history, and professor emerita of English and of communication, at the University of Illinois at Chicago.
About Bettering Humanomics: A New, and Old, Approach to Economic Science
Economic historian Deirdre Nansen McCloskey has distinguished herself through her writing on the Great Enrichment and the betterment of the poor—not just materially but spiritually. In Bettering Humanomics she continues her intellectually playful yet rigorous analysis with a focus on humans rather than the institutions. Going against the grain of contemporary neo-institutional and behavioral economics which privilege observation over understanding, she asserts her vision of “humanomics,” which draws on the work of Bart Wilson, Vernon Smith, and most prominently, Adam Smith. She argues for an economics that uses a comprehensive understanding of human action beyond behaviorism.
McCloskey clearly articulates her points of contention with believers in “imperfections,” from Samuelson to Stiglitz, claiming that they have neglected scientific analysis in their haste to diagnose the ills of the system. In an engaging and erudite manner, she reaffirms the global successes of market-tested betterment and calls for empirical investigation that advances from material incentives to an awareness of the human within historical and ethical frameworks. Bettering Humanomics offers a critique of contemporary economics and a proposal for an economics as a better human science.