Paul Krugman

Adam Ozimek weighs in on the debate over economics as a science, and argues in favor thusly:

Another question is, if economics weren’t a science, then would previous paradigms so have been done in by empirical outcomes? The old Keynesian Phillips Curve held that there was a tradeoff between inflation and unemployment. When that relationship broke down during the stagflation of the 70s, the Phillips Curve was invalidated, and this helped shift macro away from old Keynesianism and towards the new classical paradigm. Real Business Cycle models of the 80s were also invalidated by reality: it was clear that money mattered, and in the real world it was hard to find technology shocks to explain actual recessions.

Um, there’s a problem here. Yes, the old Keynesian Phillips curve was abandoned in the face of evidence. But while real business cycle theory has indeed been “invalidated by reality”, as far as I can tell it’s still going strong in freshwater departments.
The point is that while economics certainly did have some of the characteristics of a science three decades ago, you can make a good case that significant parts of the field have lost those characteristics since then.

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2 Responses to Paul Krugman

  1. shinichi says:

    経済学は科学か?

    himaginaryの日記

    http://d.hatena.ne.jp/himaginary/20110324/is_economics_a_science

    Adam Ozimekのエントリを受けて、クルーグマンは、確かにオールドケインジアンのフィリップス曲線は実証によって葬り去られたが、RBCは実証によって否定された後も淡水学派で信奉されている、従って今の経済学は科学としての特性を失いつつある、と皮肉った。

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