The failure of economists to spot the financial crisis in advance is causing soul-searching that will redefine the whole field, writes David Brooks. The cutting-edge models economists built over decades ignored the complexities of human nature and economists are now rediscovering the humility of an earlier time and trying to learn from psychologists and sociologist, Brooks writes in the New York Times.
Economists are now "taking baby steps into the world of emotion, social relationships, imagination, love and virtue," Brooks writes. In the years to come, he writes, the field will return to being a "subsection of history and moral philosophy" that keeps other contexts in mind when attempting to make predictions. Economics will reemerge as an art, not a science, he predicts.