Majandusteadus ei ole füüsika ehk kui teooria valgustab, kuid praktika hägustab
The point is that economic behavior is complex and can vary among individuals, over time, between goods, and across cultures. Physicists do not need to know the behavior of every molecule to predict how a gas will behave under pressure. Economists cannot be so sanguine. Under some conditions, individual behavioral aberrations cancel one another out, making crowds more predictable than individuals. But, under other conditions, individuals influence one another in such a way that the crowd becomes a herd, led by a few.
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Moreover, what seem like obvious, commonsense policy solutions all too often have unintended consequences, because a policy's targets are not passive objects, as in physics, but active agents who react in unpredictable ways. For example, price controls, rather than lowering prices, often cause scarcity and the emergence of a black market in which controlled commodities cost significantly more.
Raghuram Rajan selgitab ühe debati valguses majandusteadlaste poolt uuritavate küsimuste keerulisust ja teooriast tulenevate ettepanekute rakendamise problemaatilisust. Tema järeldus:
All of this implies that economic policymakers require an enormous dose of humility, openness to various alternatives (including the possibility that they might be wrong), and a willingness to experiment. This does not mean that our economic knowledge cannot guide us, only that what works in theory—or worked in the past or elsewhere—should be prescribed with an appropriate degree of self-doubt.
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