Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Economists v. Planners

William Bogart:
"For me, the fundamental aspect of Christianity is humility. I think that economists have rediscovered humility, despite our reputation as social science imperialists. This humility comes in the recognition that people are truly individuals with their own goals, not homogeneous social units. In my area of study, I see a strong contrast between the work of urban planners and urban economists. Planners tend to view people as passive inhabitants of the built environment, while economists see them as active participants in shaping the environment. Because our understanding is limited (resources are scarce, or else we're not talking about economics), people will surprise us with what they choose to do. Planners find this to be evidence of the imperfection of the people; economists find this to be evidence of the imperfection of their analysis."
I think this suggestion about the difference between planners and economists is very interesting. I think Bogart is probably right on this. What do you think?

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