Tagged: Methodology

The Economist’s misguided lecture to macroeconomists - The Dismal Science

James Zuccollo Jan 19, 2015

In a bizarre leader article The Economist praises microeconomists for their use of data to better predict people’s behaviour and recommend macroeconomists do the same: Macroeconomists are puritans, creating theoretical models before testing them against data. The new breed [of microeconomists] ignore the whiteboard, chucking numbers together and letting computers spot the patterns. And macroeconomists […] … Read More

Economics, theory, and data - The Dismal Science

Matt Nolan Mar 24, 2014

This post was titled “Why data alone is not enough for economic inference”.  I was all prepared to write a post on the fact we need data and theory in order to do economic inference and create knowledge. I had links (*,*,*,*,*).  Then Noah Smith wrote this like really good post on the issue, so […] … Read More

On economics: Germs of choice - The Dismal Science

Matt Nolan Mar 14, 2014

Recently Alex Coleman stated on twitter that he found economics ridiculous (in his defense, I specifically believe he is talking about macroeconomics – not the other 95% of economics that is not macroeconomics.  Also, he probably heard an economist on the radio – we always sound a bit ridiculous floating in the media).  That’s cool. […] … Read More

Thinking about what ‘economics’ is - The Dismal Science

Matt Nolan Jan 17, 2014

I am trying to gradually clarify my perception of what economics is.  Here are some cliff notes from a recent discussion I had: Economists try to answer questions about “the allocation of resources given scarcity”.  Every question is quite specific and different, economics education involves learning a broad set of skills that allow us to […] … Read More

Quote of the day: Pinker on changes in social sciences - The Dismal Science

Matt Nolan Oct 09, 2013

Via Noah Smith.  We have the following post on the Pinker vs Wieseltier debate on science and humanities (if you have a chance I would suggest reading the debates themselves as well). The era in which an essayist can get away with ex cathedra pronouncements on factual questions in social science is coming to an […] … Read More