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Lars Pålsson Syll
Professor at Malmö University. Primary research interest - the philosophy, history and methodology of economics.

Lars P. Syll

Lazy theorizing and useless macroeconomics

Lazy theorizing and useless macroeconomics In a new, extremely well-written, brave, and interesting article, Paul Romer goes to frontal attack on the theories that has put macroeconomics on a path of ‘intellectual regress’ for three decades now: Macroeconomists got comfortable with the idea that fluctuations in macroeconomic aggregates are caused by imaginary shocks, instead of actions that people take, after Kydland and Prescott (1982) launched the real...

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Proper use of math

Proper use of math Balliol Croft, Cambridge 27. ii. 06 My dear Bowley, I have not been able to lay my hands on any notes as to Mathematico-economics that would be of any use to you: and I have very indistinct memories of what I used to think on the subject. I never read mathematics now: in fact I have forgotten even how to integrate a good many things. But I know I had a growing feeling in the later years of my work at the subject that a good mathematical...

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Has economics — really — become more empirical?

Has economics — really — become more empirical? In Economics Rules (OUP 2015), Dani Rodrik maintains that ‘imaginative empirical methods’ — such as game theoretical applications, natural experiments, field experiments, lab experiments, RCTs — can help us to answer questions conerning the external validity of economic models. In Rodrik’s view they are more or less tests of ‘an underlying economic model’ and enable economists to make the right selection from...

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Dark age of macroeconomics

Dark age of macroeconomics In his 1936 “The General Theory of Employment, Interest and Money”, John Maynard Keynes already recognized that the idea that savings finance investments is wrong. Savings equal investment indeed, which is written as S=I. However, the way that this identity (roughly: definition in the form of an equation) holds is exactly the opposite … “Income is created by the value in excess of user cost which the producer obtains for the...

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Ljus i mörkret

I dessa tider — när ljudrummet dränks i den kommersiella radions tyckmyckentrutade ordbajseri och fullständigt intetsägande pubertalflamsande tjafs — har man nästan gett upp. Men det finns ljus i mörkret! I radions P2 går varje lördagmorgon ett vederkvickelsens och den seriösa musikens Lördagsmorgon i P2. Och nu är även söndagarna räddade! I programmet Text och musik med Eric Schüldt — som sänds på söndagsförmiddagarna i P2 mellan klockan 11 och 12 — kan man lyssna på seriös...

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But not as wrong as Paul Krugman …

But not as wrong as Paul Krugman … In his review of Mervyn King’s The End of Alchemy: Money, Banking, and the Future of the Global Economy Krugman writes: Is this argument right, analytically? I’d like to see King lay out a specific model for his claims, because I suspect that this is exactly the kind of situation in which words alone can create an illusion of logical coherence that dissipates when you try to do the math. Also, it’s unclear what this has to...

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Per T Ohlsson pratar i nattmössan om välfärdssektorns vinster

En av landets mest välbetalda journalister — Per T Ohlsson — har i sin återkommande söndagskrönika i Sydvenskan i dag en mer än vanligt dåligt underbyggd artikel. Denna gången handlar det om Ilmar Reepalus utredning om vinster i den skattefinansierade välfärdssektorn. Följande lilla stycke är belysande: Den enda rationella lösningen på detta frågekomplex – att värna och utveckla gemensam och likvärdig välfärd med bevarad valfrihet – är en kraftig skärpning av systemen för...

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The Bourbaki-Debreu delusion of axiomatic economics

The Bourbaki-Debreu delusion of axiomatic economics By the time that we have arrived at the peak first climbed by Arrow and Debreu, the central question boils down to something rather simple. We can phrase the question in the context of an exchange economy, but producers can be, and are, incorporated in the model. There is a rather arid economic environment referred to as a purely competitive market in which individuals receive signals as to the prices of...

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Reepalus utredning om vinster i välfärden

Reepalus utredning om vinster i välfärden I november presenteras utredningen om vinster i välfärden som Ilmar Reepalu (S) är ordförande för. Men redan nu har nyhetsmedier tagit del av förslag från utredningen om hur en vinstbegräsning skulle kunna se ut. SVT rapporterade i förra veckan att Joachim Landström, doktor i företagsekonomi vid Uppsala universitet, har tagit fram ett förslag till utredningen. Lite förenklat innebär den en begränsning på vinster på...

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Hicks’ misrepresentation of Keynes — the Wicksellian connection

Hicks’ misrepresentation of Keynes — the Wicksellian connection Having read my post on Krugman and Hicks’ IS-LM misrepresentation of Keynes’ theory, professor Jan Kregel kindly sent an unpublished article he wrote back in 1984 — The Importance of Choosing a Model: Hicks vs. Keynes on Money, Interest and Prices — in which it is argued that Hicks’ particular presentation of Keynes’ theory and choice of model was “crucial to its destruction”: Hicks’ choice of...

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