Tag: Paul Krugman

Økonomisk teori fra det ydre rum

Min seneste torsdagskommentar i Børsen (1. september) handler om den keynesianske nobelpristager Paul Krugmans nye teori, som han fremlagde på CNN den 14. august:

Hvis vi opdagede, at rumvæsener planlagde et angreb, og vi havde brug for massiv oprustning for at imødegå truslen, og inflation og underskud trådte i baggrunden, så ville denne lavkonjunktur være ovre i løbet af 18 måneder.

Her er indslaget fra CNN:

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nhMAV9VLvHA[/youtube]

Jeg foreslår en alternativ teori i min kommentar:

Hvis alle keynesianere fløj til det ydre rum, ville denne lavkonjunktur være ovre i løbet af 18 måneder.

To be (Krugman) or not to be (Nobel)

Jeg har kæmpet mig igennem det altid læseværdige The New Yorker‘s meget lange, empatiske portræt af fhv. Enron-rådgiver, nu venstreorienteret avis-skribent Paul Krugman, fra Princeton University, der forrige år modtog Nobelprisen i økonomi for nogle ikke så dårlige skriverier, der vist intet har at gøre med hans nuværende metier.  Artiklen er et ikke-uinteressant indblik i mandens selvforståelse og mentalitet, og blandt flere andre interessante passager, var der særligt én, jeg fæstede mig ved, nemlig Krugmans & Robin Wells’ (hans kone) beskrivelse af deres valgaften i 2008:

Once Obama won the primary, Krugman supported him. Obviously, any Democrat was better than John McCain.

“I was nervous until they finally called it on Election Night,” Krugman says. “We had an Election Night party at our house, thirty or forty people.”

“The econ department, the finance department, the Woodrow Wilson school,” Wells says. “They were all very nervous, so they were grateful we were having the party, because they didn’t want to be alone. We had two or three TVs set up and we had a little portable outside fire pit and we let people throw in an effigy or whatever they wanted to get rid of for the past eight years.”

“One of our Italian colleagues threw in an effigy of Berlusconi.”

“I put out some coloring paper and markers so that people could write stuff on it and throw it into the fire. People really felt like there was stuff they wanted to shed! I had little hats and party whistles.”

Bortset fra at jeg kunne have lyst til at vide, hvad Krugman-parret selv tegnede/skrev på det, de brændte af, så lad mig skynde mig at sige, at jeg formodentlig har begået min andel af barnagtige ting, også i mit voksenliv, og jeg kender bestemt til at blive bidt af begejstringen af at være blandt ligesindede (omend det så typisk snart efter giver mig en instinktiv lyst til at løbe skrigende bort).  Alligevel må jeg sige: Én af grundene (omend langt fra den vigtigste) til, at jeg har stor respekt for f.eks. Milton Friedman, F.A. Hayek, George Stigler, Ronald Coase, James Buchanan, Gary Becker, Douglass North, Robert Lucas, Elinor Ostrom m.fl. er, at jeg faktisk ikke kunne forestille mig nogen af disse, Krugmans forgængere som modtagere af Nobelprisen i økonomi, sammenkalde deres åndsfæller med henblik på at afbrænde billeder o.a. forestillende deres fælles, politiske modstandere.

Måske en mentalitetsforskel, måske en generationsforskel, måske en klasseforskel.  Ihvertfald et bevis på, at det at have en Nobel ikke er det samme som at være nobel.

PS.  Portrættet har iøvrigt denne fine lille passage, der nok antyder, at Krugman ikke er fri for selvironi og -kritik, men også viser, at man skal være forsigtig med at vurdere en (samfundsvidenskabelig) akademiker alene på mængden af “citations”

The most successful paper Krugman ever wrote was about target zones, and it was completely wrong. In the years before Europe adopted the euro, it was thought that establishing something between floating exchange rates and fixed ones—a “target zone” within which a currency would be allowed to float—might reap some of the advantages of each. He estimates that by the time the paper was officially published, in 1991, some hundred and fifty derivative papers had already appeared. “Empirically, it doesn’t work at all,” Krugman says. “People loved it as an academic thing, but it had some very strong predictions about interest rates inside target zones. Those predictions all turned out to be wrong. But nobody attacked me for that.”

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