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Chicago economics — out of touch with the real world

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Chicago economics — out of touch with the real world Tom Sargent is a bit out of touch with the real world up there in his office … Certain people have a capacity for ignoring facts which are patenty obvious, but are counter to their view of the world; so they just ignore them … Sargent is a sort of tinkerer, playing an intellectual game. He looks at a puzzle to see if he can solve it in a particular way, exercising these fancy techniques. Alan Blinder Do you think this is too harsh? Well, then I suggest you read the following excerpt from the interview with Sargent in Arjo Klamer’s The New Classical Macroeconomics (1984): People say that many of your assumptions are unrealistic. It is true that these assumptions are unrealistic. … Do you feel

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Chicago economics — out of touch with the real world

Chicago economics — out of touch with the real worldTom Sargent is a bit out of touch with the real world up there in his office … Certain people have a capacity for ignoring facts which are patenty obvious, but are counter to their view of the world; so they just ignore them …

Sargent is a sort of tinkerer, playing an intellectual game. He looks at a puzzle to see if he can solve it in a particular way, exercising these fancy techniques.

Alan Blinder

Do you think this is too harsh? Well, then I suggest you read the following excerpt from the interview with Sargent in Arjo Klamer’s The New Classical Macroeconomics (1984):

Chicago economics — out of touch with the real worldPeople say that many of your assumptions are unrealistic.

It is true that these assumptions are unrealistic.

Do you feel comfortable with them?

Yes, about certain matters. I’m aware of all the problems with them. There are philosophical contradictions about using this methodoology. Deep down I don’t believe in them, but I don’t have a better method of understanding what’s going on out there.

But if the best is not good enough? Wittgenstein’s dictum in Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus comes to mind:

Wovon man nicht sprechen kann, darüber muss man schweigen.

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

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