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Tag Archives: Noah Smith

Anopinion 3

Reading the first few paragraphs of Last War Brain by Noah Smith, I thought I would strongly disagree with his post and decided to write an attempted rebutal. I find that I agree almost 100% and can mainly complain about what I assert is a bit of bait and switch. As always I advise readers to just click the link. Noah is a much better writer than I am (low bar) so my effort to summarize and explain might best be skipped (skip to ***) Noah argues...

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Anopinion 1/N

I actually subscribe to a substack (even though I have a rule to never ever pay for web content). I have made 2 exceptions Talking Points Memo and Noahpinion. That written, one of the ways in which I find Noah Smith extremely stimulating is that I often, almost always, disagree with some of the many ideas he packs into each post. I this case, I object to one “two”. Noah wrote “Unfortunately, neither of America’s two political movements seems...

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Jason Smith — What to theorize when your theory’s rejected

I was part of an epic Twitter thread yesterday, initially drawn in to a conversation about whether the word "mainstream" (vs "heterodox") was used in natural sciences (to which I said: not really, but the concept exists). There was one sub-thread that asked a question that is really more a history of science question (I am not a historian of science, so this is my own distillation of others' work as well a couple of my undergrad research papers). Useful relative to philosophy of science...

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Michael Roberts — Neoliberalism works for the world?

[Noah] Smith is keen to refute the ‘mixed economy’, anti free trade ideas that have been sneaking into mainstream economics since the Great Recession, namely that ‘neo-liberalism’ and free markets are bad for living standards. Instead, a little dose of protectionism on trade (Rodrik) and state intervention and regulation (Kwak) helps capitalism to work better. But no, says Smith. Neoliberalism works better. He cites China’s growth phenomenon as his main example! In China, “the shift...

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Brian Romanchuk — How Not To Defend DSGE Macro

As an outsider, one can only revise down one's opinion of the academic standards of mainstream economists. We have an intellectual debate in which one side refuses to admit the existence of the debate in the first place. I am not an expert on the scientific method, but it seems to me that is not how it is supposed to work. Bond Economics  How Not To Defend DSGE Macro Brian Romanchuk

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Jason Smith — In the right frame, economies radically simplify

More thoughts on economic methodology. First a framework is needed and then theories can be constructed and tested in that framework. The simplest frame and most economical theory that explains the data sufficiently to be useful is preferred.A framework involving complexity is not necessarily better than one that doesn't as long as it gets the job done.Smith observes that theories constructed within the conventional framework that conventional economists presume is not getting the job of...

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Noah Smith on heterodox models

As it is often the case when you've been blogging for a while, there is always a precedent, and one might have written about a particular topic. Noah Smith, which I think has been blogging for a shorter period of time than I've been, now comes up with another take down of heterodox economics (having difficulties of understanding the meaning of the mainstream, it's no wonder he gets heterodoxy wrong; on the definition of the latter go here).He argues that "much of heterodox theory is...

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Beyond Laissez-faire? Seriously?

As I noticed, posting will continue a bit slow for a while. So this is a bit old. Noah Smith suggests that the profession is leaning in a liberal, meaning moderately lefty, direction. He tells us, however, that:"although there’s a growing consensus that something about U.S. economic policy needs to be changed in a more liberal direction, there isn't any consensus on what. Laissez-faire may have reached the end of its shelf life, but we don’t yet know what is going to replace it."He...

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