Considering how many policy-oriented classes (economics of welfare, gender, antitrust, law, regulation...) I took in desperate avoidance of having to deal with regression analysis, my undergraduate economics education paradoxically didn't strike me as very politicized. This may be partly because I attended a politically moderate university and even compared to most of my other professors, the econ faculty was relatively conservative. So this article's description of the undergraduate economic education as more political than that of the graduate students made me wonder just how completely politics must be erased from the latter's education. It also started me thinking about whether law can or should be taught the way graduate-level economics reportedly is.
The younger generation has tried to shun prescriptions that seek to cure the economy's ills. Instead, they cast economics as a scientific inquiry, using mathematical models, for example, to explore the economy without becoming advocates for one solution or another.Certainly there is a fair amount of empirical work to do in law; my Federal Courts professor complained this week that he didn't know of any research on a particular question he wanted answered. But I don't know whether we really have much room for a non-advocate take on the law. I'm writing my Note (well, theoretically I'm writing my Note) about how to delineate markets in the entertainment industry, for the purpose of deciding when a firm -- Ticketmaster, for example -- can be deemed market dominant. From what I understand, I'm supposed to take a position and argue for a specific resolution to the problem, but I don't know that I yet have a decided opinion on how such a determination should be made for the issue that interests me. Perhaps it's just hardwired into legal education that we must be taught advocacy above exploration.