to wax empiric

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I'm having a hard time understanding the sentence below, especially the part I've written in the title:

As the economics profession waxes empiric and the world at large becomes increasingly data-driven, so, too, does the emphasis on statistics for undergraduates.

I stopped understanding at profession. :( What is the first part of the sentence saying?

From the book: Using Economic Freedom and Statistical Analysis to Teach Principles of Macroeconomics
Author: Ryan, Matt E.

Any help is appreciated. :)
  • The Newt

    Senior Member
    English - US
    "Waxes" here means "increasingly becomes more." The idea is that the profession is becoming gradually more focused on empirical research (i.e., "data").


    Senior Member
    English UK
    It's a play on words, I think, Rallino. There's an expression "wax lyrical" which means "be effusive". "Wax empiric[al]" is, I'd say, echoing - and contrasting with - that.
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