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Paul Pfleiderer a Chameleons: The Misuse of Theoretical Models in Finance and Economics (2014) | Stanford Graduate School of Business
Chameleons: The Misuse of Theoretical Models in Finance and Economics
By Paul Pfleiderer
March 2014Working Paper No. 3020
In this essay I discuss how theoretical models in finance and economics are used in ways that make them “chameleons” and how chameleons devalue the intellectual currency and muddy policy debates. A model becomes a chameleon when it is built on assumptions with dubious connections to the real world but nevertheless has conclusions that are uncritically (or not critically enough) applied to understanding our economy. I discuss how chameleons are created and nurtured by the mistaken notion that one should not judge a model by its assumptions, by the unfounded argument that models should have equal standing until definitive empirical tests are conducted, and by misplaced appeals to “as-if” arguments, mathematical elegance, subtlety, references to assumptions that are “standard in the literature,” and the need for tractability.

financial_system  downloaded  macroeconomics  economic_policy  economic_theory  economic_models 
april 2017 by dunnettreader
Antonella Alimento - Beyond the Treaty of Utrecht: Véron de Forbonnais's French Translation of the British Merchant (1753): History of European Ideas: Vol 40, No 8
Pages 1044-1066 | Published online: 06 Nov 2014
This study focuses on the cultural and political context from which stemmed the French translation of the British Merchant. The paratextual and macrostructural interventions that characterised Le négotiant anglois clearly demonstrate that the translator, Véron de Forbonnais, used his work to set out his own epistemological method and his way of looking at inter-state relations. With the book, Forbonnais had distanced himself from Gournay by rejecting the idea that in order for France to prosper in a situation of international competition the government needed to adopt a muscular strategy that included the adoption of a navigation act modelled on the one enacted by Britain in 1660. At the same time, Forbonnais warned French decision-makers that signing commercial treaties with the maritime powers might also be prejudicial to national economic interests. Forbonnais supplied qualified French readers not only with an annotated edition of the British Merchant but also with a translation of Davenant's Of the Use of Political Arithmetick. In so doing, he proposed to his audience a type of governance based on a competent use of statistics. In conclusion, I will argue that in Le négotiant anglois Forbonnais anticipated the key political and economical tenets of his project of ‘monarchie commerçante’, which he later set out in the Principes et observations æconomiques (1767) in order to counter the rise of the epistemology and plans for a ‘royaume agricole’ put forward by the physiocratic movement.
Keywords: British Merchant, Gournay, Davenant, navigation act, treaties of commerce, ‘balance du commerce’
article  paywall  18thC  intellectual_history  political_economy  international_political_economy  France  British_foreign_policy  economic_theory  economic_policy  Physiocrats  commerce  mercantilism  competition-interstate  Navigation_Acts  trade-agreements  trade-policy  Gournay  Davenant  translation  reception_history  French_government  enlightened_absolutism  balance_of_power  statistics  government-data 
december 2016 by dunnettreader
Ida Nijenhuis - For the Sake of the Republic: The Dutch Translation of Forbonnais's Elémens du commerce | History of European Ideas: Vol 40, No 8 (2014)
History of European Ideas
Volume 40, 2014 - Issue 8: Translation, reception and Enlightened Reform: The case of Forbonnais in eighteenth-century political economy
For the Sake of the Republic: The Dutch Translation of Forbonnais's Elémens du commerce
Ida Nijenhuis
Pages 1202-1216 | Published online: 03 Nov 2014
The open access article from the special issue on Forbonnais - downloaded to Tab S2
article  downloaded  political_economy  intellectual_history  18thC  French_Enlightenment  economic_theory  economic_policy  translation  Dutch  commerce  commerce-doux  mercantilism  Bolingbroke  maritime_powers 
december 2016 by dunnettreader
Larry Summers
The Permanent Effects of Fiscal Consolidations
Antonio Fatás, Lawrence H. Summers
NBER Working Paper No. 22374
Issued in June 2016
NBER Program(s):   EFG
The global financial crisis has permanently lowered the path of GDP in all advanced economies. At the same time, and in response to rising government debt levels, many of these countries have been engaging in fiscal consolidations that have had a negative impact on growth rates. We empirically explore the connections between these two facts by extending to longer horizons the methodology of Blanchard and Leigh (2013) regarding fiscal policy multipliers. Our results provide support for the presence of strong hysteresis effects of fiscal policy. The large size of the effects points in the direction of self-defeating fiscal consolidations as suggested by DeLong and Summers (2012). Attempts to reduce debt via fiscal consolidations have very likely resulted in a higher debt to GDP ratio through their long-term negative impact on output.
austerity  fiscal_policy  macroeconomics  NBER  paper  fiscal_multipliers  economic_theory  Great_Recession  hysterisis  paywall 
november 2016 by dunnettreader
Barry Eichengreen - The Political Economy of the Smoot-Hawley Tariff (1986) - NBER
The Political Economy of the Smoot-Hawley Tariff
Barry Eichengreen
NBER Working Paper No. 2001
Issued in August 1986
NBER Program(s):   ITI   DAE   IFM
Economic histories of the interwar years view the Great Depression and the Smoot Hawley Tariff as inextricably bound up with one another. They assign a central role to the Depression in explaining the passage of the 1930 Tariff Act and at the same time emphasize the role of the tariff in the propogation of the Depression. This paper argues that popular accounts have conveyed what is at best an incomplete and at worst a misleading impression of the relationship between the tariff and the Depression. Rather than simply strengthening the hand of a Republican Executive predisposed toward protection or increasing the burden borne by a depressed agricultural sector, the uneven impact of the Depression occasioned the birth of a new protectionist coalition comprised of producers particularly hard hit by import competition: border agriculture and small-scale industry engaged in the production of speciality goods. Rather than leading to a dramatic across-the-board decline in the volume of U.S. imports, the tariff had very different effects across sectors. Rather than worsening the Great Depression by reducing foreign demands for U.S. exports, the direct macroeconomic effect of the tariff is likely to have been expansionary. This remains true even when feedbacks to the United States and foreign retaliation are analyzed. In any case, relative to the Depression, the direct macroeconomic effects of the tariff were small. If Smoot-Hawley had significant macroeconomic effects, these operated instead through its impact on the stability of the international monetary system and the efficiency of the international capital market.
competition-interstate  trade-agreements  economic_history  Great_Depression  NBER  trade  trade-policy  protectionism  economic_theory  20thC  entre_deux_guerres  revisionism  paywall  paper  Smoot-Hawley  race-to-the-bottom 
october 2016 by dunnettreader
Professor Rod O’Donnell - Keynes: the partly-known Colossus of economics - crowd-sourcing promo
Professor Rod O’Donnell , University of Technology Sydney, Australia Alongside Smith and Marx, Keynes is one of the triumvirate of economists on whom more ink…
Keynes  intellectual_history  20thC  WWI  pre-WWI  entre_deux_guerres  economic_history  economic_theory  crowd-sourcing  from instapaper
october 2016 by dunnettreader
Joan Robinson - The Second Crisis of Economic Theory (1972 Ely Lecture) | American Economic Review - JSTOR
The Second Crisis of Economic Theory
Joan Robinson
The American Economic Review
Vol. 62, No. 1/2 (Mar. 1, 1972), pp. 1-10
The Richard T. Ely Lecture 1972 - JK Galbraith was AEA Pres - The Chicago boyz have spent every year since "proving" loudly that JKG was nothing but a failed dilettante and Joan was just an hysterical girl
article  political_economy  1960s  economic_theory  downloaded  1970s  Keynesianism  macroeconomics  Robinson_Joan  Galbraith_JK 
september 2016 by dunnettreader
James Tobin - The Monetarist Counter-Revolution Today - An Appraisal (1981) | The Economic Journal on JSTOR
The Monetarist Counter-Revolution Today-An Appraisal
James Tobin
The Economic Journal
Vol. 91, No. 361 (Mar., 1981), pp. 29-42
Published by: Wiley on behalf of the Royal Economic Society
DOI: 10.2307/2231692
Stable URL:
Via Anne @ Thoma re Krugman returning to Tobin and seeing his counterblast as not the last feeble defense against the new kids on the block - Tobin was right!
Downloaded via iPhone to DBOX
RBC  20thC  downloaded  central_banks  Volker  article  social_sciences-post-WWII  wages  monetarism  Friedman_Milton  intellectual_history  economic_theory  monetary_policy  Tobin  inflation  interest_rates  oil_price  Fed  unemployment  post-WWII  Keynesianism 
september 2016 by dunnettreader
Harry Garretsen and Ron Martin - Rethinking (New) Economic Geography Models: Taking Geography and History More Seriously | Spatial Economic Analysis: Vol 5, No 2 (2010)
Harry Garretsen and Ron Martin -- Spatial Economic Analysis, Vol. 5 , Iss. 2, 2010 -- Two aspects of New Economic Geography models are often singled out for criticism, especially by geographers: the treatment of geography, typically as a pre-given, fixed and highly idealized abstract geometric space; and the treatment of history, typically as ‘logical’ time (the movement to equilibrium in a model's solution space) rather than real history. In this paper we examine the basis for these criticisms, and explore how far and in what ways NEG models might be made more credible with respect to their representation of geography and history, and particularly whether and to what extent the work of geographers themselves provides some insights in this regard. We argue that the conceptualization of space and time is in fact a challenge for both NEG theorists and economic geographers, and that, notwithstanding their ontological and epistemological differences, both groups would benefit from an interchange of ideas on this front. -- downloaded to Tab S2
article  downloaded  economic_theory  economic_sociology  geography-and-economics  geography  economic_models  philosophy_of_social_science  historical_sociology  historiography 
august 2016 by dunnettreader
Thomas Palley » Blog Archive » Why ZLB Economics and Negative Interest Rate Policy (NIRP) are Wrong: A Theoretical Critique
NIRP is quickly becoming a consensus policy within the economics establishment. This paper argues that consensus is dangerously wrong, resting on flawed theory and flawed policy assessment. Regarding theory, NIRP draws on fallacious pre-Keynesian economic logic that asserts interest rate adjustment can ensure full employment. That pre-Keynesian logic has been augmented by ZLB economics which claims times of severe demand shortage may require negative interest rates, which policy must deliver since the market cannot. Regarding policy assessment, NIRP turns a blind eye to the possibility that negative interest rates may reduce AD, cause financial fragility, create a macroeconomics of whiplash owing to contradictions between policy today and tomorrow, promote currency wars that undermine the international economy, and foster a political economy that spawns toxic politics. Worst of all, NIRP maintains and encourages the flawed model of growth, based on debt and asset price inflation, which has already done such harm. Downloaded to Tab S2
paper  downloaded  macroeconomics  monetary_policy  interest_rates  central_banks  demand-side  zero-bound  FX-rate_management  economic_growth  economic_theory  financial_crisis  capital_flows  asset_prices  leverage  debt-overhang 
july 2016 by dunnettreader

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