Leontief and the sorry state of economics

26 Oct, 2022 at 23:04 | Posted in Economics | Comments Off on Leontief and the sorry state of economics

The core assumption of 'modern' macro — totally FUBAR | LARS P. SYLLPage after page of professional economic journals are filled with mathematical formulas leading the reader from sets of more or less plausible but entirely arbitrary assumptions to precisely stated but irrelevant theoretical conclusions …

Year after year economic theorists continue to produce scores of mathematical models and to explore in great detail their formal properties; and the econometricians fit algebraic functions of all possible shapes to essentially the same sets of data without being able to advance, in any perceptible way, a systematic understanding of the structure and the operations of a real economic system.

Wassily Leontief

Mainstream economics is, as noted by Leontief, hopelessly irrelevant to the understanding of the real world, and the main reason for this irrelevance is the failure of economists to match their methods with their subject of study. The fixation on constructing models showing the certainty of logical entailment has been detrimental to the development of relevant and realist economics. Insisting on formalistic-mathematical modeling forces the economist to give up on realism and real-world relevance.

It is — sad to say — a fact that within mainstream economics internal validity is everything and external validity next to nothing. Why anyone should be interested in that kinds of theories and models — as long as one does not come up with export licenses for the theories and models to the real world in which we live — is beyond comprehension.

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