Monthly Archives: October 2015

Theory vs data, computerization, old wine and new bottles: Morgenstern and Econometric Society fellows, 1953

The proposal In January 1953, Oskar Morgentern wrote Alfred Cowles to suggest a change in the Constitution of the Econometric Society (ES). The Fellow section stated that: Instead, Morgenstern proposed that candidates be required to “have done some econometric work in the … Continue reading

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Mathiness in context : Richardson, Solow and Mirrlees debate the uses of math in urban economics, 1973

The debate In 1973, Harry W. Richardson, a urban economist at the University of Kent, expressed concern about “some uses of mathematical models in urban economics.” His attack was directed at two 1972 congestion models developed by Robert Solow and … Continue reading

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The history of the Representative Agent: a short reading list

One aspect of contemporary macro micro-founded models is the use of a representative agent, whose interpretation is debated. Essentially, in these models a utility function is ascribed to a typical consumer or producer. It is not clear whether what is … Continue reading

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There is no longstanding theory/applied pecking order in economics

It seems that economists have a serious problem with theory lately. The pushback against rational expectations is growing, Richard Thaler is prophesizing the extinction of the homo economicus, and even the debate stirred by the publication of Paul Romer’s “mathiness” … Continue reading

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