The general topic for invited lectures is “The evolving future of economics. How data and techniques, specialization, and other disciplines are reshaping the dismal science and economists’ work”.
The future of economics has never been so debated. The economics discipline is undergoing major changes, all driving the “dismal science” away from theory. Today’s mainstream economics seems characterized by unprecedented variety, being populated by a series of mainstream research programs that deviate from the neoclassical core and have their origins in other disciplines. It is truly as if economics imperialism had come to an end, under the influence of both specialization, which makes other disciplines have a transformative impact on economics, and of the availability of (big) data and powerful techniques for analyzing them: economics is becoming applied, while during the decades of its imperialism economists’ work was fundamentally of a theoretical nature. While pure theory loses ground, however, the discipline seems reluctant to embrace the potential drive toward pluralism which might result from the unparalleled plurality of its mainstream.