Around the time that “Life Among the Econ” was published, Ireland’s current President was an academic in a Department of Political Science and Sociology. Michael D. Higgins clearly has a low regard for the Econ (here). I have no problem saying that our President’s criticism has some merit but it is vague and unimaginative. I have no problem saying that I voted for him. I have no problem saying that some of the best work on the history of economics is currently being done by Sociogs, e.g. Marion Fourcade’s criticism in her “The Superiority of Economists”. However, we need more of the material like that produced by Leijonhufvud and Fourcade rather than Higgins.
There is an argument to be made that most social scientists are becoming O’Metrs. The O’Metrs are the empirical folks in Leijonhufvud’s world. The people who get their hands dirty by digging in the data for a living – although empirical economists also get some criticism from the author because of their “random strip-mining”.
Sport provides plenty of rich seams to be mined. Economists, political scientists, sociologists, and other social scientists can dig successfully in the area. For example, two Polscis have produced an excellent paper on home advantage. Liam Kneafsey and Stefan Muller specifically examine gaelic games for home advantage. They exploit the fact many gaelic games are played on neutral grounds. They also exploit the superb GAA rankings produced by the political journalist Gavin Reilly. These rankings, along with the combination of home and neutral ground games, allow Kneafsey and Muller to establish the size of home field advantage. They find that Reilly’s stronger teams win home games 80 to 90 percent of the time. This drops to 60 percent at neutral venues.
The Econs can learn a lot from the neighbours.