Category Archives: Economic Sciences

Partisanship and dismal economics blogging

I haven’t been blogging much lately. Frankly, I got tired of it. Of course, very few read what I write, but I have no problems with that. I blog mostly to maintain some record of my thoughts. I mainly got tired of the whole so-called academic blogosphere. In particular the one originating from the US, which of course tends to be quite dominating. My problem is the reductive nature of much academic US blogging. Many bloggers are high-profiled academic economists, who through their blogging are simplifying arguments so as to set up a “Them versus Us” feeling in the mind of the reader. Paul Krugman, of course, excels in this. … Continue reading

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Chris Auld’s 18 signs

Chris Auld really nails some common silly/ignorant ways of bashing economic sciences in his recent blog post. I could not have done it any better, and the funny/sad thing is that the 18 signs he lists which differentiate “crankery from solid criticism” are all signs that I see in my home-country media. Day after day. So these appear to be universal. Here is the post (and lots of the comments unintentionally prove several of his points)—enjoy: http://chrisauld.com/2013/10/23/18-signs-youre-reading-bad-criticism-of-economics/

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The case for negative nominal interest rates and how to attain them: Revisiting the Buiter-Eisler approach

Recently, I discovered that the debate on possibly removing the zero lower bound on nominal interest rates is quite hot in some blog circles in the US. For example, Miles Kimball is writing a lot about it these days, and I thought I would chime in with a piece I did on the issue a few years ago. It was written for a students’ blog at my department in Danish, and took the form of a run through of the arguments as Willem Buiter had presented them. Hence the title “Willem and the negative nominal interest rates”. Actually, Miles Kimball encouraged me to translate the Danish version, and I thank … Continue reading

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Reinhart and Rogoff’s coding mistake: Much Ado About Nothing

This week saw a wide circulation of recent working paper by Thomas Herndon, Michael Ash and Robert Pollin, “Does High Public Debt Consistently Stifle Economic Growth? A Critique of Reinhart and Rogoff“, Working Paper Series Number 322, Political Economy Research Institute, University of Massachusetts Amherst. The authors challenge the findings in Carmen Reinhart and Kenneth Rogoff’s “Growth in a Time of Debt“, American Economic Review, Papers and Proceedings 100, 573-578. During their efforts to replicate Reinhart and Rogoff’s findings on the relationship between public debt and growth for 20 developed countries post-WWII, Herndon et al. received the original codes from Reinhart and Rogoff. Upon scrutiny, they discovered a coding error … Continue reading

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Nobel awarded to Roth and Shapley: Personal nostalgia

Today, the “Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel for 2012” was awarded to Alvin E. Roth and Lloyd S. Shapley “for the theory of stable allocations and the practice of market design”. As always when the Nobel is decided, I realize that I should not be one giving out the prize. Along with many, I try to make clever predictions, which always fail. On the other hand, when the prize is being awarded, I almost always find that the choice is obvious and natural. This year is no exception. I will spare you for my failed prediction(s), but applaud this year’s choice. Roth and Shapley … Continue reading

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White Paper, Great Economists and (really) Bad Science

In Denmark, where I come from, academic economists are often used in the media. Whenever there is a political debate on an economic issue or policy proposal, TV and newspapers call out for economists to get their views and analyses. The norm is that journalists try to cover most views on a given issue, and that the economists in question try to be as balanced as possible. Ideally, the economists act as a sort of independent “expert witnesses”. Of course, personal opinions will to some extent color what a given economist will focus on, but one line is never crossed: An academic economist never endorses a given politician or party … Continue reading

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When ”failure” in economics is ”success” and vice versa?

This post fully lives op to the mantra of the blog, as it contains a lot of “stochastic ramblings” (a nod to Greg Mankiw’s mantra of “random observations”). “Stochastic” as I wander unplanned around important subjects on the developments of economic sciences, and “ramblings” as most of it is scientifically unsubstantiated talk with little coherency, which just emerge from my gut. You have been warned. The backdrop of the following is a festive occasion. An occasion I am truly and deeply happy about. The Institute of New Economic Thinking (INET), which is partly funded by George Soros, has given a grant to establish a center on Imperfect Knowledge Economics (IKE) … Continue reading

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New-Keynesian explosions: The Cochrane interpretation and explosive solution

John Cochrane has some interesting comments on New Keynesian economics in his latest blog post on “New Keynesian Stimulus“. The interesting is not the part of the blog-literature to which it also contributes; the part about mudslinging in fiscal stimulus discussions, about which prominent economist got basic theory wrong, about who is acting most disrespectful and whatnot. I.e., the extremely counterproductive style of “debate” that was basically initiated by he-who-shall-go-unmentioned for once. I normally find that Cochrane behaves quite academic and adhere to scientific arguments (which is not entirely unfair given that he is a professor of economics), but even he has to defend himself every once in a while, … Continue reading

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