Mittwoch, 18. Juni 2014

Warum Makroökonomik kritisieren?

Noah Smith hat auf seinem Blog eine Reihe von Besprechungen für ein Buch geschrieben, in dem Kartik Athreya die Makroökonomik ggü. Kritikern verteidigt.

In seinem letzten Beitrag dazu macht er sich Gedanken darüber, warum man ein solches Buch überhaupt schreiben sollte. Er beginnt diesen Beitrag mit einem (wahrscheinlich nicht ganz erstgemeinten) Absatz, der zum Schmunzeln einläd:
"Why write a book defending macroeconomics from the critics? It could be simple wagon-circling in the face of an external threat, but I doubt it. The American macroeconomist is an animal with no natural predators. Macroeconomics, as Chris House says, is "the glamor division of econ". Steve Williamson says: "We [macroeconomists] are among the best paid in the profession, we have more than our fair share of Nobels, and there is plenty of work for [us]". He's right. Macroeconomists serve the essential function of teaching America's future white-collar managerial class (undergrad econ majors) how to think about the Fed, the business cycle, etc. They have technical skills that give them lots of outside options for employment. Most of their theories can't easily be refuted by facts (look how long RBC has survived!), so they don't fear the wolf of empirical falsification the way, say, a biologist does. And other economists may grumble or taunt in private, but they have no intention of downsizing their macro areas. "Heterodox" critics, and ranty bloggers with highly idiosyncratic motivations (such as myself), are more like annoying birds that fly over and poop on the macroeconomists' habitat; we present no threat to their jobs or their prestige (since their prestige is determined entirely within the community)."
 Just wanted to share ...

Und, ach: Noah meint, dass die beste Verteidigung der Makroökonomik folgende sei:
"The better case is this: Modern academic macro, for all its flaws, is almost certainly better than any of the alternatives."

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