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Tag Archives: Economics

Economic forecasting — why it matters and why it is so often wrong

Economic forecasting — why it matters and why it is so often wrong As Oskar Morgenstern noted in his 1928 classic Wirtschaftsprognose: Eine Untersuchung ihrer Voraussetzungen und Möglichkeiten, economic predictions and forecasts amount to little more than intelligent guessing. Making forecasts and predictions obviously isn’t a trivial or costless activity, so why then go on with it? The problems that economists encounter when trying to predict the future...

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Hyman Minsky and the IS-LM obfuscation

Hyman Minsky and the IS-LM obfuscation As a young research stipendiate in the U.S. yours truly had the pleasure and privilege of having Hyman Minsky as a teacher. He was a great inspiration at the time. He still is. The concepts which it is usual to ignore or deemphasize in interpreting Keynes — the cyclical perspective, the relations between investment and finance, and uncertainty, are the keys to an understanding of the full significance of his...

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Systembrus

En vanlig missuppfattning när det gäller oönskad variabilitet i bedömningar är att det inte spelar någon roll eftersom slumpfel tar ut varandra. Det stämmer att positiva och negativa fel i en bedömning av samma fall mer eller mindre tar ut varandra och vi kommer att diskutera mer i detalj hur denna omständighet kan utnyttjas för att minska bruset. Men brusiga system gör inte flera bedömningar av samma fall. De gör brusiga bedömningar av olika fall. Om en försäkring har för hög...

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Is an economics degree really worth it?

Is an economics degree really worth it? .[embedded content] A science that doesn’t self-reflect on its own history and asks important methodological and science-theoretical questions about its own activity is in dire straits. Already back in 1991, a commission chaired by Anne Krueger and including people like Kenneth Arrow, Edward Leamer, and Joseph Stiglitz, reported from their own experience “that it is an underemphasis on the ‘linkages’ between tools,...

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Wage rigidity theories

It seems reasonable to hope that a successful explanation of wage rigidity would contribute to understanding the extent of the welfare loss associated with unemployment and what can be done to reduce it … Many theories of wage rigidity and unemployment include partial answers to these questions as part of their assumptions, so that the phenomena of real interest are described in the theories’ assumptions. For instance, Lucas concludes that increased unemployment during...

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How economics has become a religion

How economics has become a religion Economics today has — as we all know — become a “the model is the message” discipline. But as long as it does not seriously argue and assess the compatibility of those models and their real-world target systems, the belief that those models in any essential way enhance our possibilities to understand or explain what happens in our economies, is a belief for which there really is no other ground than belief itself. Even if...

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On the use of mathematics in empirical modeling

On the use of mathematics in empirical modeling I have argued that in order for a mathematical modeling exercise to illuminate its target the following two conditions must be met:(1*) the objects under investigation must plausibly be stable, modular, and quantitative, with no qualitative differences among instantiations of each type; and (2*) the relations between them must be fixed and law-like throughout the context under study in the modeling exercise …...

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Economic modeling — a constructive critique

Economic modeling — a constructive critique If we have independent reasons to believe that the phenomena under investigation are mechanical in Mill’s sense, well and good: mathematical modeling will prove an apt mode of representation … But if we have independent reasons to believe that there is more going on in the phenomena under investigation than a mathematical model can suggest – that is, that the phenomena in question are not in fact mechanical in...

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