Monthly Archives: January 2014

Abstraction, Language and Modelling in Economics

Alciphron is the title of the book by the philosopher George Berkeley that was most popular in his own time and is probably his least popular in ours. The reason for this is because the book deals with atheism and … Continue reading

Posted in Economic Theory, Philosophy | 5 Comments

Disturbing Distributions in Economic Statistics

Lars Syll has recently published an excellent post on the dilemma of probability theory when applied to the social sciences in general and economics in particular. Syll argues that in order to apply probability theory — which is deeply embedded … Continue reading

Posted in Economic Theory, Statistics and Probability | 10 Comments

New Blog Dealing With Devolution/Scottish Independence

A colleague and I are currently in the process of launching a new think tank called ‘Gradualis’. The think tank will deal with the political and economic aspects of devolution. Our first focus will be on Scotland as they will … Continue reading

Posted in Economic Policy, Politics | Leave a comment

A Tangential But Rather Interesting Interview With…

Amogh Sahu was kind enough to do an extended interview with me for his podcast. The aim was to try to tie in the work I have been doing on the philosophy of science with economic theory. I think that … Continue reading

Posted in Economic Theory, Philosophy | Leave a comment

Behavioral Economics as Victorian Moralising

The other day I wrote a post that was about some awful load of nonsense that was coming from behavioural economics under the self-contradictory name of ‘libertarian paternalism’. Since then I’ve been looking into behavioural economics in some detail and … Continue reading

Posted in Economic Theory, Psychology | 1 Comment

A Revolution in Economic Textbooks

For the past few months Bill Mitchell has been posting drafts of what should become his and Randy Wray’s Modern Monetary Theory textbook for economics students. From what I have seen so far this looks set to become the perfect … Continue reading

Posted in Economic Theory | 14 Comments

Libertarian Paternalism is Clearly an Oxymoron

Blackwhite…this word has two mutually contradictory meanings. Applied to an opponent, it means the habit of impudently claiming that black is white, in contradiction of the plain facts. Applied to a Party member, it means a loyal willingness to say … Continue reading

Posted in Economic Policy, Economic Theory | 7 Comments

Shadow-boxing with DSGE Models

Lars Syll has recently linked to a post by Noah Smith criticising DSGE models. Criticising DSGE models is the latest fad in mainstream macroeconomics — hey, it’s easy to use the model that was in fashion just before the crisis … Continue reading

Posted in Economic Theory | 6 Comments

Berkeley’s ‘Master Argument’ Doesn’t Exist

In 1974 the philosopher Andre Gallois published an article in The Philosophical Review entitled Berkeley’s Master Argument. In the article Gallois picks one quote from Berkeley’s Three Dialogues that he then goes on to say constitutes Berkeley’s supposed ‘Master Argument’. … Continue reading

Posted in Philosophy | 6 Comments

A Short Note on a Connection Between Marginalist Economics and Folk Medicine

One peculiar aspect of modern marginalist economics is its obsession with equilibrium. I was recently re-listening to an excellent lecture given by Joan Robinson in Stanford in 1974 entitled ‘What is Wrong With Neoclassical Economics?‘. The entire lecture is about … Continue reading

Posted in Economic Theory, Psychology | 8 Comments