Author(s): David Colander
Individuals are not born as economists; they are molded through formal and informal training. This training shapes the way they approach problems, process information and carry out research, which in turn influences the policies they favor and the role they play in society. The economics profession changes as cohorts with older-style training are replaced with cohorts with newerstyle training. In many ways, the replicator dynamics of graduate school play a larger role in determining economists’ methodology and approach than all the myriad papers written about methodology. Arjo Klamer and I came to that belief in the early 1980s, and it led us to publish our “Making of an Economist” (Colander and Klamer, 1987), which in turn led to a much more thorough study by a Commission on Graduate Education in Economics appointed by the American Economic Association (Hansen et al., 1991). Over the years, I have received numerous suggestions to update our earlier study.