Category Archives: Mark Thoma is Indispensable

What is the Meaning of Credibility?

A recent survey of leading economists, called the IGM forum, asked two questions about CBO forecasts. Question A: Forecasting the effects of complex legislative actions is hard, so even competent, non-ideological and non-partisan projections could differ substantially from outcomes. Question … Continue reading

Posted in Economic education and methods, Mark Thoma is Indispensable | 3 Comments

Justin Fox Inadvertently Makes the Case Against Empiricism

On the question of whether Federal workers are overpaid relative to private sector workers, He writes, The Federal Salary Council, a government advisory body composed of labor experts and government-employee representatives, regularly finds that federal employees make about a third … Continue reading

Posted in Economic education and methods, Mark Thoma is Indispensable | Tagged , | 8 Comments

Economists, Empiricism, Humility, etc.

Peter Dorman writes, what passes for empiricism in economics at present is often deficient in an empiricist, self-critical spirit and methodology. At the same time, the debates over topics like the minimum wage, the effects of charter schools on educational … Continue reading

Posted in Economic education and methods, Mark Thoma is Indispensable, Timothy Taylor is my Favorite Blogger, Tyler Cowen is my Favorite Blogger | 2 Comments

Japan and the Consensual Hallucination Hypothesis

Kevin Drum writes, Japan’s deflation has persisted even in the face of massive BOJ efforts that, according to conventional economics, should have restored normal levels of inflation. Pointer from Mark Thoma. BOJ = Bank of Japan, their central bank. We … Continue reading

Posted in Mark Thoma is Indispensable, Monetary Economics | 7 Comments

The Deplorables Heuristic

Chris Dillow writes, I was being tribal: I didn’t want to be part of a tribe that had a disproportionate number of people I despised. I was using a form of the social proof rule of thumb. I was allowing … Continue reading

Posted in Mark Thoma is Indispensable, Politics | 12 Comments

Taking Macroeconomics Backward Through Regression

Olivier Blanchard recently wrote that there ought to be two classes of macroeconomic models. Theory models, aimed at clarifying theoretical issues within a general equilibrium setting. Models in this class should build on a core analytical frame and have a … Continue reading

Posted in Economic education and methods, links to my essays, Mark Thoma is Indispensable, PSST and Macro | 4 Comments

The Economist as Entrepreneur

Beatrice Cherrier comments on Esther Duflo’s AEA lecture, “The economist as plumber.” She wanted economists to reconceive economic agents, policy-makers and bureaucrats as bounded “humans” embedded in wider power structures and cultures, and to realize that thinking goods ideas is … Continue reading

Posted in Economic education and methods, Mark Thoma is Indispensable | Tagged | 6 Comments

Daniel Little on the Evolution of Disciplines

He writes, academic disciplines are in fact highly contingent in their development, and that there is no reason to expect convergence around a single “best” version of the discipline. The history of disciplines should better be understood in analogy to … Continue reading

Posted in Economic education and methods, Mark Thoma is Indispensable | 1 Comment

Economists and Mr. Trump

Justin Wolfers writes (not Justin Fox, as I mis-typed earlier) that at the recent American Economics Association meetings, Over three days of intense discussions, I didn’t encounter a single economist who expressed optimism that Mr. Trump’s administration would be good … Continue reading

Posted in Economic education and methods, Mark Thoma is Indispensable, Politics, Tyler Cowen is my Favorite Blogger | Tagged | 17 Comments

Noah Smith on Higher Education Policy

He writes, As long as the number of available college spots remains roughly fixed, reducing the price of college will have only a very modest effect in creating broad-based economic opportunity. My recommended solution is to focus on increasing the … Continue reading

Posted in Economics of Education, Mark Thoma is Indispensable, public choice | 20 Comments