The hottest thing in the social sciences -- the replicability debate -- is bad news for economic forecasters and worse news for the pundits who peddle their analyses through the media.

The debate got started when economics Nobel Prize winner, Daniel Kahneman, posted a note on September 26 to a wide range of his colleagues on "questions about priming effects" -- the study of how subtle cues can unconsciously influence thoughts and behaviour. Kahneman (with Amos Tversky) is one of the pioneers of behavioural economics and demonstrated that many of the assumptions which underlay economic models of behaviour and efficiency were just plain wrong.