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System-Building

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"System-Building"

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A bon mot from John Quiggin on the state of macroeconomics:

The prevailing emphasis on logical rigor has given economics an internal consistency that is missing in other social science. But there is little value in being consistently wrong.

It’s striking to consider the extent to which public policy in the developed world from 1980-2010 has clearly been in better alignment with mainstream thinking about macroeconomic policy than was policy in the 1945-75 era. Either, it seems, this should have brought some clear benefits in terms of improved economic outcomes or it should say something very bad about the basis of these prescriptions. And it seemingly hasn’t led to better outcomes—growth in per capita income has not been faster, and the economy hasn’t actually gotten more stable.

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