The occasion for this conference is the 10-year passing of the global financial crisis in 2007-08. The emphasis lies in particular on debates that have sparked or revived issues concerning the main constituents of the ‘soul of economics’ and have provoked new questions about the nature of this soul. More specifically, we focus mainly on questions that have been raised within but also outside the economics profession about some of the constituents of this soul, namely the discipline’s theoretical foundations, the desirability of old and new modeling tools, the role of empirical analysis in economics, and the usefulness of research programs such as behavioral economics, among many others. We furthermore address questions the crisis has provoked concerning the lack of public trust in economics and how to regain it.
To enable a fruitful debate about those questions, the main goal of the conference is to provide a platform for economists, philosophers of economics, sociologists of economics, and historians of recent economics to push the examination that underlies this soul searching further. This will help us, in turn, to better understand where economics is headed in the near future. We attribute the major issues under discussion to the following three areas within which there is ongoing disagreement among economists:
- the debate in macroeconomics about the usefulness of DSGE models and the demand for microfoundations;
- >the discussion of the status and usefulness of behavioral economics and how it theoretically and conceptually differs from neoclassical economics; and,
- the debate about the role of methodological consensus to regain public trust in economic expertise.
While we are also very interested in papers that are concerned with other issues related to the conference topic, we are especially keen on receiving papers that address any of these issues. For each area, keynote speakers will discuss issues arising in those areas from an economic, a philosophical, and a historical perspective. We therefore welcome papers using systematic and conceptual approaches, case study analysis and historical approaches more generally, as well as sociological approaches.
The conference will be held at the University of Zurich, Switzerland, from September 9 to 11, 2019. We invite submissions of contributed papers. Submissions should contain a title, a short abstract of 100 words (copied in the body of the email), and an extended abstract of up to 500 words. The abstracts should be prepared for blind review and submitted via the Easychair system the latest by June 16, 2019. Authors will be notified the latest by July 15, 2019.
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