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Economists, Get Your Cookbooks Out!


With economics getting too unreliable, and even more dismal than it already was, in these too unpredictable times, economists have taken to cooking. Some like Abhijit V Banerjee have gone one step farther by writing about their cooking.

That cookbooks such as The Wealth of Nations, Das Kapital and The General Theory of Employment, Interest and Money are really Tarla Dalals, Paul Bocuses and Chitrita Banerjis using a different data set and ingredients has been well-known. But this could be the golden age of cookbooks by economists, pushing back the glut of celebrity chef TV programmes we suffer.

We suggest a few economists pick up the ladle with one hand and a pen with the other and leave their mark in the gastronomic field. Jean Drèze should, for instance, call out Thomas Piketty and insist that ‘French fries’ are closer to Belgian friterie than the French (pommes) frites.

Paul Krugman and Joseph Stiglitz can write about flipping burgers as a variation of the Prisoner’s Dilemma (e.g., mustard or no mustard?) in game theory. Amartya Sen has enough ovenpower to argue why Farex, Cerelac, etc, can be the ideal food for developmental nutrition (or is it nutritional development?). Cooking with economists may not solve economic inequality, but it can re-attest that man does not live by bread alone.



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