Category Archives: Economics

ECONOMICS IS “A COLLECTION OF FUNNY STORIES ABOUT UNINTENDED CONSEQUENCES”.

ECONOMICS IS “A COLLECTION OF FUNNY STORIES ABOUT UNINTENDED CONSEQUENCES”. John Cochrane, at his Grumpy Economist blog, posts a response to the question Russ Roberts asks (what do economists know?). His answer: “Our field is, perhaps, best described as a … Continue reading

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“WHAT DO ECONOMISTS ACTUALLY KNOW?”

“WHAT DO ECONOMISTS ACTUALLY KNOW?” Professor Russ Roberts began his article entitled “What Do Economists Actually Know?” as follows: “A journalist once asked me how many jobs NAFTA had created or destroyed. I told him I had no reliable idea.” … Continue reading

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SO WHY ARE THEY CALLED “IDENTIFICATION PROBLEMS”?

“SO WHY ARE THEY CALLED “IDENTIFICATION PROBLEMS”? I can imagine Annalisa chuckling again over how counterintuitive economic jargon is. (Think of “rent” as an example). Economists have chosen to talk about the problem of determining (measuring) the effect of different … Continue reading

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IDENTIFICATION PROBLEMS IN ECONOMICS.

IDENTIFICATION PROBLEMS IN ECONOMICS. Kids, a rough way of looking at identification problems is to consider the problem of trying to determine the effect of more than one variable in causing something to happen. A good experiment, as explained by … Continue reading

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IDENTIFICATION PROBLEMS ARE THE REASON “NATURE DOES NOT RUN VERY GOOD EXPERIMENTS.”

IDENTIFICATION PROBLEMS ARE THE REASON “NATURE DOES NOT RUN VERY GOOD EXPERIMENTS.” Paul Romer explains what has happened in macroeconomics as the result of economists struggling with the “identification problem”. He begins the second paragraph of his essay: “In the … Continue reading

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AN ECONOMIST LOOKS AT “THE TROUBLE WITH MACROECONOMICS”.

AN ECONOMIST LOOKS AT “THE TROUBLE WITH MACROECONOMICS”. One of the recurring themes of this blog is how my beliefs and the world’s beliefs have changed in my lifetime. One of the things I look in at is what has … Continue reading

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HETEROPHASIA—IT’S THE PANTHEON THAT HAS A CONCRETE DOME (COMMENT).

HETEROPHASIA—IT’S THE PANTHEON THAT HAS A CONCRETE DOME (COMMENT). I posted here a couple months ago about how the Pantheon has lasted for centuries because concrete can’t be reused. However, I said “Parthenon” for “Pantheon”. Dick Weisfelder promptly pointed out … Continue reading

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THE PROBLEM WAS THAT THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE AVOIDED USING PROBABILITIES IN THEIR FORECASTS.

THE PROBLEM WAS THAT THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE AVOIDED USING PROBABILITIES IN THEIR FORECASTS. Of course government agencies, including the National Weather Service, should keep the public up to date on what their models are predicting. But the cause of … Continue reading

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SHOULD THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE PERSIST IN A WEATHER FORECAST THAT IT KNOWS IS WRONG?

SHOULD THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE PERSIST IN A WEATHER FORECAST THAT IT KNOWS IS WRONG? The National Weather Service issued forecasts that New York City and other coastal cities would get 24 inches of snow on Tuesday March 14. On … Continue reading

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COMPARING THE ARTICLES OF CONFEDERATION TO A BUSINESS STARTUP.

COMPARING THE ARTICLES OF CONFEDERATION TO A BUSINESS STARTUP. As a modern lawyer, who has done some drafting, I am impressed by the difficulties that the drafters of the Articles of Confederation faced. There can’t have been many previous examples … Continue reading

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