Monday , November 18 2019
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Lars Pålsson Syll
Professor at Malmö University. Primary research interest - the philosophy, history and methodology of economics.

Lars P. Syll

Denmark’s euro problem

Denmark’s euro problem Denmark has combined high taxes and strong social benefits (free college, heavily subsidized child care, and more) with strong employment and high productivity. It shows that strong welfare states can work. But it is worth noting that Denmark has had a fairly bad run since the global financial crisis, with a severe slump and a very weak recovery. In fact, real GDP per capita is about as far below pre-crisis levels as that of Portugal or Spain, although with much less...

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Jeffrey Sachs — studying neoclassical economics make students less ‘pro-social’

Jeffrey Sachs — studying neoclassical economics make students less ‘pro-social’ Students trained in egoistic game theory, notably in university courses in neoclassical economics, are less likely to cooperate in laboratory settings. There is now a large literature on the lower levels of pro-sociality of economics students compared with non-economics students … The findings of low pro-sociality among economics students are robust; the interpretation, however, has differed between those who...

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Eccentrics

For those of us who can’t get enough of English eccentrics, Brewer’s Rogues, Villains, Eccentrics by William Donaldson is probably the funniest book ever written. I mean, just to take one example, where else would you find an entry like this one? Carlton, Sydney (1949- ), painter and decorator. Those who argue that bestiality should be treated with understanding had a setback in 1998 when Carlton, a married man from Bradford, was sentenced to a year in prison for having intercourse with a...

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Why experimental economics is no real alternative to neoclassical economics

Why experimental economics is no real alternative to neoclassical economics One obvious interpretation is that Model-Platonism implies that economic models are Platonic, if they take the form of thought-experiments, which use idealized conceptions of certain objects or entities (Platonic archetypes). This clearly sounds like a pretty familiar procedure, although the rationale for the thought-experimental character of economic models (if they are conceived as such) has been transformed over...

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Deborah Mayo vs. Andrew Gelman on the (non-)significance of significance tests

Deborah Mayo vs. Andrew Gelman on the (non-)significance of significance tests Mayo: 

You seem to have undergone a gestalt switch from the Gelman of a short time ago–the one who embraced significance tests … Andrew: 

I believed, and still believe, in checking the fit of a model by comparing data to hypothetical replications. This is not the same as significance testing in which a p-value is used to decide whether to reject a model or whether to believe that a finding is true. Mayo: 
I...

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The Swedish for-profit ‘free’ school disaster

The Swedish for-profit ‘free’ school disaster Gustav Fridolin, Sweden’s rather youthful education minister, emerges from behind his desk in a pleasant office in central Stockholm wearing what looks like a pair of Vans and the open, fresh-faced smile of a newly qualified teacher. The smile falters when he begins to describe the plight of Sweden’s schools and the scale of the challenge that lies ahead. Fridolin, it turns out, is the man in charge of rescuing a school system in crisis....

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Why the euro divides Europe

Why the euro divides Europe The ‘European idea’—or better: ideology—notwithstanding, the euro has split Europe in two. As the engine of an ever-closer union the currency’s balance sheet has been disastrous. Norway and Switzerland will not be joining the eu any time soon; Britain is actively considering leaving it altogether. Sweden and Denmark were supposed to adopt the euro at some point; that is now off the table. The Eurozone itself is split between surplus and deficit countries, North...

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Dumb and Dumber — the Chicago version

Dumb and Dumber — the Chicago version Macroeconomics was born as a distinct field in the 1940s (sic!), as a part of the intellectual response to the Great Depression. The term then referred to the body of knowledge and expertise that we hoped would prevent the recurrence of that economic disaster. My thesis in this lecture is that macroeconomics in this original sense has succeeded: Its central problem of depression-prevention has been solved, for all practical purposes, and has in fact...

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