Robert Barro and the art of deducing victory from devastating criticism

9 June, 2015 at 22:17 | Posted in Economics | Leave a comment

751120Barro claims that Ricardianism has gained stature in the last decade … Widespread criticism, far from chastening him, instead emboldens him to ‘predict that this trend will continue and that the Ricardian approach will become the benchmark model for assessing fiscal policy.’ One almost envies Barro’s ability to deduce approaching victory from swelling criticism.

The core problem is that his claim concerning how people perceive and respond to debt financing cannot be plausible to anyone who is even remotely familiar with twentieth-century politics …

Avoiding casual empiricism … is one thing, but ignoring all factors that cannot be deduced from an abstract model or proven algebraically is something else entirely.

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