The utility of math
Economists have a tendency to obfuscate and lose themselves in a maze of equations and statistical tests that often have little intuitive meaning to the researcher, let alone to policymakers. My quest in economics has been to fight against those tendencies in applied policy work. But despite econommists' faults, I have to admit that their medium -- equations and statistical tests -- places a limit on the obfuscation that occurs. Ultimately the equations have to parse. Language -- the medium of sociologists and science scholars -- imposes fewer limits, which makes it easier for them to obfuscate. (JEL, XLVI/3, 78)
...which, I think, explains why it's much easier to do good economics than other social sciences.