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Bonus Quotation of the Day…

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… is from page xi of the hot-off-the-press new book by George Selgin, Money: Free and Unfree (footnote deleted): Economists’ general lack of awareness of, and interest in, alternative monetary arrangements – and decentralized alternatives especially – is partly due to the tremendous influence exerted by central banks themselves, and partly a reflection of the state of modern economics graduate programs.  Most of the latter programs have dispensed with classes on either economic history or the history of economic thought – subjects once considered indispensable – so as to make room for more courses on mathematical modeling and econometrics.  Courses on monetary theory and macroeconomics have at the same time become increasingly abstract – so much so, indeed, that many of them hardly

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… is from page xi of the hot-off-the-press new book by George Selgin, Money: Free and Unfree (footnote deleted):

Bonus Quotation of the Day…Economists’ general lack of awareness of, and interest in, alternative monetary arrangements – and decentralized alternatives especially – is partly due to the tremendous influence exerted by central banks themselves, and partly a reflection of the state of modern economics graduate programs.  Most of the latter programs have dispensed with classes on either economic history or the history of economic thought – subjects once considered indispensable – so as to make room for more courses on mathematical modeling and econometrics.  Courses on monetary theory and macroeconomics have at the same time become increasingly abstract – so much so, indeed, that many of them hardly refer to “money” at all!  Faced with such a curriculum, graduate students are left to their own devices when it comes to learning anything at all about existing U.S. monetary institutions, let alone foreign or historical ones, or others that have been proposed but never tried.

DBx: Sad but true.  (I boast that GMU Econ – especially featuring, as we do, George’s mentor and frequent co-author, Larry White – is one of the precious few graduate programs in the English-speaking world that isn’t guilty of mistaking mastery of methods as being mastery of the material.  And we still offer courses in economic history and the history of economic thought.)

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Don Boudreaux
He is a professor of economics at George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia. Previously, he was president of the Foundation for Economic Education.

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