2011-03-22

Faran med datorer


If Newton and his contemporaries had behaved as the economics profession is now behaving and had access to the modern computer, it is likely that the law of gravity would never have been discovered. In Newton’s day, deviant celestial observations were made that did not fit into the existing epicycle theory of heavenly motion, but each such observation could be and was explained with an addition of another epicycle to the system. Given enough epicycles, all patterns were theoretically explainable. Eventually, however, the computational difficulties forced Newton to rethink the existing theory to obtain a simpler set of results based on gravity. But with the modern computer Newton would never have been forced to look for anything new. The computer would have made short work of the necessary geometric computations, making a new theoretical approach seemingly unnecessary.

Like “deviant” celestial motion at the time of Newton, deviant observations in the labor market keep being reported. But each was and still can be made consistent with the orthodox theory. Usually some market imperfection is hypothesized, and as we shall see, each is posited ad hoc and after the fact. At some point it becomes necessary to examine the weight of the evidence to see the extent to which the labor market is or is not working in accordance with the theories of the equilibrium price-auction model. And if it is not, to develop new micro-economic approaches.
Lester Thurow – Dangerous Currents



2 comments:

Björn Nilsson sa...

Varje gång jag ser den här bilden tycker jag att arbetsställningen ser olämplig ut ur ergonomisk synpunkt.

Visserligen hade Newton (och Liebniz) ingen dator, men de utvecklade ändå matematiska knep som sedan kom att utnyttjas till förbannelse i nationalekonomin. Alla dessa kurvor som deriveras till höger och vänster utan att egentligen kunna ge svar på någonting.

Teckentydaren sa...

Det kanske är arbetslinjen som den gode Newton räknar på där. Men så småningom inser han att det inte räcker med att vara dubbelvikt för att få till denna linje med passaren det kräver att han slår knut på sig själv.

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