The error of the Chicago school was that it fixed reality around its economic theories of the rational consumer and producer. We should begin with irrational reality and proceed from there, says the author of a new book that takes on the legacy of The Chicago School, at the center of which sat the imposing Milton Friedman: “The problem is that economists develop their elegant models, with rational consumers, perfect information and liquid markets and then try to adapt it to reality. In other sciences, one would surely take the world as we find it, full of irrational consumers, imperfect information and markets that suddenly freeze. The result was that much of the new economics failed to predict the credit crunch of 2007 and 2008. Nor did the Chicago school have much to say in response, save to oppose the various governments in their stimulus plans.”
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