Microeconomic forecasting: Constructing commensurable futures of educational reforms

Guus Dix

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3 Citations (Scopus)
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Abstract

According to economists from the Netherlands Bureau for Economic Policy Analysis, the introduction of performance pay for primary and secondary school teachers would lead to an increase in Dutch GDP of one-and-a-half percent in 2070. A new epistemic practice of microeconomic forecasting undergirded this attempt to make the distant future part of the political present. Taking the construction of the economic growth potential of performance pay as a starting point, this article analyzes how microeconomic forecasting emerged in one of the world’s oldest forecasting bureaus – and to what consequences. First, it highlights the institutional preconditions for this ‘turn to micro’ in an institution that had pioneered in the field of macroeconomic forecasting. Second, the article analyzes microeconomic forecasting as a distinct epistemic practice that brings different forms of economic expertise together to make the future of educational reforms commensurable. Finally, it analyzes the political consequences of this new epistemic practice in the sense that it not only enables but simultaneously limits the provision of policy-relevant evidence. Beyond the specificities of the case, the article contributes to the sociological study of economic policy devices against the background of a predominant market bias in the STS research on economics.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)180-207
JournalSocial studies of science
Volume49
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2019
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • boundary organizations
  • commensuration
  • economic expertise
  • economic policy
  • forecasts

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