Originally published in The Sydney Morning Herald on October 12, 2013

Despite decades of debate, many economists can’t agree with each other about fundamental issues. We can’t agree what causes unemployment, we can’t agree what fixes it and we can’t agree whether we should run deficits when the economy slows down. Careers could be made on the length of some unresolved disputes with colleagues.

Lawyers, on the other hand, don’t appeal to their opponents to change their mind, they appeal to judges to resolve disputes. And while the wheels of justice might grind slowly at times, they look like a racing car when compared to the economics profession. So when economic arguments wind up in court, the debate can shift a lot more quickly.

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