“Economism” and its effects on consumer welfare and equality

Building on Jeff Sovern's review of James Kwak's book, Economism: Bad Economics and the Rise of Inequality, on this blog, law prof Pamela Foohey at Credits Slips takes a look at what she views as a book with a similar message: Cathy O'Neil's Weapons of Math Destruction: How Big Data Increases Inequality and Threatens Democracy. Foohey says that

O'Neil chronicles the repercussions of relying on algorithms fed by big data to assess everything from grade school teachers' effectiveness to credit worthiness to which households politicians should target during election campaigns. When not used properly, these 'weapons of math destruction' can entrench and perpetuate inequality.

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