quarta-feira, julho 19, 2017

Anónimo da província rules!

Um tema que refiro aqui há anos no blogue: cuidado com a mentalidade da física newtoniana aplicada à economia:
"It’s no mystery why the data used by economists and other social scientists so rarely throws up incontestable answers: it is human data. Unlike people, subatomic particles don’t lie on opinion surveys or change their minds about things. Mindful of that difference, at his own presidential address to the American Economic Association nearly a half-century ago, another Nobel laureate, Wassily Leontief, struck a modest tone. He reminded his audience that the data used by economists differed greatly from that used by physicists or biologists. For the latter, he cautioned, “the magnitude of most parameters is practically constant”, whereas the observations in economics were constantly changing.
Leontief wanted economists to spend more time getting to know their data, and less time in mathematical modelling. However, as he ruefully admitted, the trend was already going in the opposite direction. Today, the economist who wanders into a village to get a deeper sense of what the data reveals is a rare creature.[Moi ici: Por isso é que este anónimo da província bate nas suas previsões os Sarumans mediáticos fechados nas suas torres de marfim com os seus modelos matemáticos desenvolvidos para a realidade de há 15/20 anos]
 ideas in economics can go in and out of fashion. The progress of science is generally linear. As new research confirms or replaces existing theories, one generation builds upon the next. Economics, however, moves in cycles. A given doctrine can rise, fall and then later rise again.[Moi ici: Estratégias que resultam num dado período tornam-se tóxicas num período seguinte para renascerem mais tarde. Um dos meus receios actuais, que muitas PME optem por voltar ao preço como o principal factor competitivo, por causa do reshoring massivo.]
Noting that pure theory was making economics more remote from day-to-day reality, he said the problem lay in “the palpable inadequacy of the scientific means” of using mathematical approaches to address mundane concerns. So much time went into model-construction that the assumptions on which the models were based became an afterthought.
Leontief thought that economics departments were increasingly hiring and promoting young economists who wanted to build pure models with little empirical relevance. Even when they did empirical analysis, Leontief said economists seldom took any interest in the meaning or value of their data."
 Trechos retirados de "How economics became a religion"

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