Posted by: Dirk | July 2, 2009

The a-ha effect

The financial crisis has brought many discussions to an end, showing what really matters and what is humbug. I have stumbled upon publications that look really, really bad with hindsight. Economists, however, are only judged by their publications. Well, that is, where they published, not whether they are right or wrong. Since falsification is difficult in social sciences, most people get away with publishing stuff that is irrelevant, wrong or both. In the next month, I will extend this list of publications that I think do not stand the test of time. You are invited to comment. The publications are not singled out by any plan, it’s just stuff that I stumble about. Here we go:

1) Jerry Bowyer. 2003. The Bush Boom: How a Misunderestimated President Fixed a Broken Economy.

Those who wish to debate economic policy on the basis of facts rather than opinion will find this book indispensable. — Richard W. Rahn, Chairman of Novecon Financial and a senior fellow at the Discovery Institute

2) Bernd Venohr and Klaus E. Meyer. 2007. The German Miracle Keeps Running: How Germany’s Hidden Champions Stay Ahead in the Global Economy

Scholars and business leaders, in particular of companies based in other high-cost countries, therefore ought to consider German companies as source for lessons on how to succeed in the global economy.

3) Jordi Gali and Luca Gambetti. 2008. On the Sources of the Great Moderation.

That evidence points to structural change, as opposed to just good luck, as an explanation for the Great Moderation. We use a simple macro model to suggest some of the immediate sources which are likely to be behind the observed changes.

4) John B. Taylor. 1993. Discretion versus policy rules in pratice.

This paper examines how recent econometric policy evaluation research on monetary policy rules can be applied in a practical policymaking environment. According to this research, good policy rules typically call for changes in the federal funds rate in response to changes in the price level or changes in real income.

5) to be continued…

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