Saturday, December 9, 2017

VICIOUS Brad DeLong Aligns With Paul Krugman and Goes Brutal

I love to see Keynesians battle each other

The latest round in the Krugman vs. Mankiw battle is absolutely vicious

This round reminds me of the time the Roman emperor Domitian had a heckler in the Coliseum, who jeered a favorite gladiator, dragged into the center of the arena and thrown to a gang of ravenous dogs, which ripped him apart from limb from limb.

Here's Brad DeLong as a ravenous dog:
Greg Mankiw [writes]: PAUL KRUGMAN... SIGH: "Paul says I have never admitted to making a math error. Well, I would if I thought I made such an error. I make them all the time. But in this case I am not convinced. Neither is University of Chicago professor Casey Mulligan, who thinks Paul made a math error. I spoke with several other economists (some of whom share Paul's politics) and they don't see Paul's point either."...

And now we come to the part that makes me sad. Mankiw writes:
I am not convinced. Neither is University of Chicago professor Casey Mulligan, who thinks Paul made a math error...
Greg: Casey Mulligan is not a very good economist. You know that he is not a very good economist. You have read his writings as much as I have... 
The only rational conclusion is: ideologically-blinded unprofessional incompetence. Don't cite Casey Mulligan as an authority on anything. (And it is also unwise to
cite the lurkers who support you in email: that trick never works.)...
And then there is another sad part: John Cochrane was once a good economist...
Now that Cochrane and Mulligan are mired in numerical error does not disturb me. I have seen them in action to know that they stopped thinking—stopped being anything I would call a professional economist—long ago. (In Cochrane's case, consider his claim last week: "So, what's up with Bitcoin? Is it a 'bubble?' A mania of irrational crowds?... Bitcoin seems to me like a perfectly 'normal' phenomenon. Intersect a convenience yield and speculative demand with a temporarily limited supply..." when there has been no noticeable increase in the prices of any of the other assets with convenience yields analogous to that of BitCoin.)
Mankiw is much more disturbing: he really should by now have rethought the issue, tried hard to gain some intuition about where his factor Eqn4, drawn the graph... and discovered that he got it wrong.
Of course, both sides are wrong when they even start to create complex mathematical models of the economy. Both sides need to be tranquilized.


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