というThe Chronicle of Higher Education論説をEric PosnerとGlen Weylが書いている(H/T Mostly Economics)。原題は「How Economists Became So Timid」で、副題は「The field used to be visionary. Now it’s just dull.(この分野はかつてはビジョンを持っていた。今は退屈なだけだ。)」。

Yet even as economists retreated from visionary social theory, the power they wielded over detailed policy decisions grew. A notable feature of this policy guidance was that it shared the narrowness of economists’ research methods. ...Economists suggested a bit higher or lower minimum wage or interest rate, a bit more or less regulation, depending on their external political orientation and evidence from their research. But they almost never proposed the sort of sweeping, creative transformations that had characterized 19th-century political economy.
The upshot is that economics has played virtually no role in all the major political movements of the past half-century, including civil rights, feminism, anticolonialism, the rights of sexual minorities, gun rights, antiabortion politics, and "family values" debates. It has been completely unprepared for Trumpism and other varieties of populism, having failed to predict those developments just as it failed to predict the financial crisis of 2008. And, until very recently, it has shrugged at one of the most politically charged and morally troubling issues of our time — the rise in inequality.
Even the recent attempts of the field to live up to its heritage have fallen flat. Thomas Piketty’s Capital in the Twenty-First Century, while widely perceived as a successor to Marx’s Capital, ends by half-heartedly proposing a modest global tax on capital. Where is the modern Smith, Marx, George, or Keynes? Other fields have not stepped up to fill the void left by political economy’s collapse. Sociologists and political scientists largely eschew specific policy proposals. And political philosophers, while offering bold visions of ideal societies, usually avoid dirtying their hands with the details of feasible policy design.
Calls for more interdisciplinary work, common as they are, often lead to muddle. What’s missing from the social sciences is a willingness at a large scale to revisit the roots of the intellectual traditions that have given rise to the current system of silos in which researchers make incremental advances along familiar paths, proposing modest reforms rather than reimagining our basic institutions. After decades in which fundamental questions were neglected but technical and empirical insights accumulated, political economists have a rich store of material to work with. In an era threatened by rising inequality and authoritarian populism, we hope that boldness rather than caution will be the new watchword of these fields.
経済学が、受け継いだ遺産に相応しい仕事をしようとした最近の試みさえも上手く行かなかった。トマ・ピケティの21世紀の資本論は、マルクス資本論を継ぐもの、と広く受け止められていたが、資本に対する適度な国際的な税を提案するという中途半端なものに終わった*1。現代のスミス、マルクス、ジョージ、ケインズはいずこ? 他の分野も、政治経済学の崩壊によって生まれた空白を埋めるに至っていない。社会学者と政治学者は、特定の政策提案を大体において避けている。そして政治哲学者は、理想的な社会について大胆なビジョンを提供するものの、実行可能な政策設計の細部について自らの手を汚すのを避けるのが常である。

*1:cf. 著者2人によるピケティ批判