Truth and economics (II)

13 May, 2017 at 12:00 | Posted in Economics | Comments Off on Truth and economics (II)

Reading some of the comments on my earlier post on the status of truth in ‘modern’ economics, yours truly came to think of Robert Solow’s assessment of ludicrously ‘post-real’ model assumptions …

4703325Suppose someone sits down where you are sitting right now and announces to me that he is Napoleon Bonaparte. The last thing I want to do with him is to get involved in a technical discussion of cavalry tactics at the battle of Austerlitz. If I do that, I’m getting tacitly drawn into the game that he is Napoleon. Now, Bob Lucas and Tom Sargent like nothing better than to get drawn into technical discussions, because then you have tacitly gone along with their fundamental assumptions; your attention is attracted away from the basic weakness of the whole story. Since I find that fundamental framework ludicrous, I respond by treating it as ludicrous – that is, by laughing at it – so as not to fall into the trap of taking it seriously and passing on to matters of technique.

Robert Solow

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