economics and sociology, part cdlxvii: comments on a blog post by noah smith

I second this idea. This is a particularly interesting idea in the case of financial markets, where a dialogue between social sciences that study this object need to sit down together and create a new ‘space’ of possibilities for a better understanding of financial markets and banking.

orgtheory.net

A few weeks ago, economics columnist Noah Smith wrote a blog post about how economics should raid sociology. This raises interesting questions about how academic disciplines influence each other. In this case, why has sociology not been a good a receptor for economics?

I start with an observation, which Smith also alludes to: Sociology has already been “raided” by economics with only moderate success. In contrast, economists have done very well raiding another discipline, political science. They have done fairly well in establishing pockets of influence in public policy programs and the law schools. By “success,” I do not mean publishing on sociological topics in economics journals. Rather, “success” means institutional success: economists should be routinely hired sociology programs, economic theory should become a major feature of research in graduate programs, and sociological journals should mimic economics journals. All of these have happened in political science but not sociology.

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