Chris Van Es

Pour l’éclosion de centaines de théories

BUDAPEST – La crise économique et financière a provoqué une profonde réflexion des économistes autour des nombreuses idées reçues et admises de longue date et mises à l’épreuve à cette occasion. Si l’on peut définir la science par sa capacité à prévoir l’avenir, le fait qu’une grande partie de la profession n’ait pas vu arriver la crise devrait soulever de grandes inquiétudes.

Mais en fait, il y a une bien plus grande diversité d’idées que ce que l’on voudrait bien nous faire croire. Les lauréats 2009 du prix Nobel d’économie sont deux chercheurs dont le travail consiste à explorer des approches alternatives. Les sciences économiques ont généré une multitude d’idées dont bon nombre prétendent que les marchés ne sont pas nécessairement ni efficients ni stables, ou que l’économie, et notre société, n’est pas correctement définie par les modélisations standard d’équilibres compétitifs utilisés par la majorité des économistes.

Pour les économistes comportementalistes, par exemple, les acteurs du marché se comportent souvent de manière peu rationnelle. De la même manière, l’approche économique des moyens modernes d’information montre que même si les marchés sont compétitifs, ils ne sont presque jamais efficients si l’information est imparfaite ou asymétrique (certaines personnes ont une information que d’autres n’ont pas, comme ce fut le cas lors de la récente débâcle financière) – en fait, c’est toujours .

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