As causas frequentemente mencionadas são ideologia errada (free markets), modelos macroeconômicos irrelevantes (DSGE) e corrupção dos economistas acadêmicos que vendem pesquisa para o sistema financeiro. Raghu Rajan não concorda com esta avaliação e aponta outra causa mais relevante:
"The meager professional rewards for breadth, coupled with the inaccuracy and reputational risk associated with forecasting, leads to disengagement for most academics. And it may well be that academic economists have little to say about short-term economic movements, so that forecasting, with all its errors, is best left to professional forecasters.
The danger, though, is that disengagement from short-term developments leads academic economists to ignore medium-term trends that they can address. If so, the true reason why academics missed the crisis could be far more mundane than inadequate models, ideological blindness, or corruption and thus far more worrisome; many simply were not paying attention!"