Danny Blanchflower has a forthcoming book chapter critical of the role of academic economists during the crisis. I post it here for debate rather than as an endorsement of everything in it. An illustrative quote is below.
“I am greatly concerned that the economics profession has had so little involvement in the major issues of the day. That has resulted, in my view in some of the worst economic policy errors in a generation. Economists need to focus on real policy questions rather than simply on publishing trivial technical extensions in academic journal. I suspect that will also mean a movement away from theoretical papers with no data to papers that involve empirical testing and the search for patterns in the data.”