Category Archives: Methodology

The Norms of Science: Extract from Paul Romer

I was looking for something on economic method, and found this section of Paul Romer’s “The Trouble with Macroeconomics” which I thought was worth posting. Some of the economists who agree about the state of macro in private conversations will not … Continue reading

Posted in Economics and public policy, Methodology, Science | 3 Comments

The middleware of democracy. Or from knowledge to wisdom: or at least knowledge 2.0

Simon Heffer’s High Minds presents us with a portrait of the mid-Victorians in which they consciously set about building the world which became ours. A liberal democratic world. To do so they recognised the need for all sorts of public … Continue reading

Posted in Cultural Critique, Innovation, Methodology, Philosophy, Political theory, Public and Private Goods | 13 Comments

Thoughts on “Thinking, fast and slow”

I couldn’t resist buying a copy of Daniel Kahneman’s best-seller when returning from holidays. Several friends and colleagues told me it was a great book; it got great reviews; and Kahneman’s journal articles are invariably a good read, so I … Continue reading

Posted in Economics and public policy, Education, Geeky Musings, Information, Life, Literature, Methodology, Philosophy, Science, Social, Society | 10 Comments

If our models are correct, then people are smarter than we realised!

Whilst making pies yesterday I happened to recall a sentence I read 7 or so years ago, which suddenly struck me as very silly. So I just looked it up to make sure I hadn’t imagined it. I didn’t. Here’s … Continue reading

Posted in Economics and public policy, Methodology | 7 Comments

Economists as engineers and humbler, better scientists

Here’s a paragraph I wrote about fifteen years ago. The culture of economic expertise places inadequate weight on integrating insights from multiple perspectives, that it frequently places an unreasonably high ‘burden of proof’ on heterodox views, and that it has … Continue reading

Posted in Economics and public policy, Methodology, Philosophy | 35 Comments

Counteracting our biases

In an earlier post, and one of a series by me and subsequently Ken as well, I suggested that an important part of any professional education should be a kind of counter-narrative in which those who learn a profession are … Continue reading

Posted in Methodology | 11 Comments

Why good thoughts block better ones: Cognitive biases and the psychopathology of knowledge

Keynes famously said that the hardest part of coming up with the General Theory was not coming up with the new ideas so much as escaping from the old ones. I’ve just run into a great article on the implications … Continue reading

Posted in Chess, Economics and public policy, Methodology | Tagged | 30 Comments