Saturday, June 21, 2014

Samuelson using mathematics to produce policy

Listening to a paper on Samuelson versus Von Neumann, I was struck by the idea that Samuelson thought he could use mathematical economics to produce policy. This, not the mere introduction of mathematics, has been the key problem with recent, mainstream economics: the failure to recognize that the mathematization of economics makes it abstract and divorces it from political economy. (It is fine to generate such abstractions, but a serious error to try to make reality fit the abstraction.) This is discussed in more depth in "Economics and Its Modes."

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