By Pierre Cahuc and André Zylberberg
We would like to thank Xavier Ragot for permitting us to respond to his comments about our book, Le Négationnisme économique [Economic Negationism]. Like many critics, Xavier Ragot considered that:
1) “The very title of the book proceeds from great violence. This book is on a slippery slope in the intellectual debate that is heading towards a caricature of debate and verbal abuse.”
2) The approach of our work is “scientistic” and “reductive”, with “faith in knowledge drawn from natural experiments” that he doesn’t believe has a “consensus in economics”.
3) We “want to import the hierarchy of academic debate into the public debate”.
We would like to respond to these three allegations, with which we disagree. Continue reading “Some clarifications on economic negationism”
By Xavier Ragot
The book by Pierre Cahuc and André Zylberberg is an injunction to take scientific truths about economics into account in the public debate, in the face of interventions that conceal private and ideological interests. The book contains interesting descriptions of the results of recent empirical work using natural experiments for the purpose of evaluating economic policies in the field of education, tax policy, the reduction of working hours, etc.
However, assertions in the book that are at the borderline of reason ultimately make it a caricature that is probably counter-productive. More than just the debate over the 35-hour working week or France’s CICE tax credit, what is at stake is the status of economic knowledge in the public debate. Continue reading ““The economic negationism” of Cahuc and Zylberberg: the first-order economy”