Read This If You Want to Understand Me
Scott Sumner has a great post at his blog TheMoneyIllusion (highly recommended in general if you’re into monetary economics). In it, he explores the difference between values and worldview. In particular, he explains how academic economists tend to have liberal values but an economic, rather than liberal or conservative, worldview. This leads to interesting effects when you try to measure academic economists on the left-right spectrum.
What I loved was the list of seven differences between the “common sense” and “economic” worldviews. They are concrete examples of how economists differ in their causal reasoning from even very highly intelligent and educated non-economists. If you want to understand where I’m coming from, read the post. It’s pretty much one of the three primary planks of my own worldview. [In case your curious, the other two are that (2) the human brain is a woefully inadequate decision making substrate and (3) many of the outcomes we care about are produced by complex dynamic systems that are very difficult to characterize]