Tag Archives: Theory

How the computer transformed economics. And didn’t

Initially published on the INET blog Below is a picture of what the desktop of MIT macroeconomist Franco Modigliani may have looked like in 1970, when he was working on the large macroeconometric model he was building for the Fed … Continue reading

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Further thoughts on historicizing the computerization of economics

Why the computerization of economics needs to be historicized I’m co-organizing a conference investigating whether the transformation of economics from the 1970s is better characterized as an “applied turn” (applied meaning empirical and/or concerned with real-world and/or policy-related). Economists’ reaction … Continue reading

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9 ways computers have affected the development of economics

“The rise of applied economics from the 1970s onward is a consequence of computerization and better data.” This increasingly canonical narrative has the allure of truthiness, and it is therefore surprising that the computerization of economics has never been historicized. … Continue reading

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The computerization of economics: a chronology (in progress)

On Hardware, there’s a great illustrated history of computers here (and timeline). For econometrics software, I relied on Charles Renfro’s massive history. I have tried to classify the various ways in which computerization affected the development of economics here and I list further research questions … Continue reading

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The Wesley Clair Mitchell medal : the AEA award that never came to be

Initially posted on the INET blog. At the end of World War II, the American Economic Association began seeking a way to stimulate, reward and publicize outstanding contributions to economic knowledge. An exploratory committee on honors and awards was set … Continue reading

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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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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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