Revolution

GleickThe historian of Science Thomas S. Kuhn describes a disturbing experiment conducted by a pair of psychologists in the 1940s. Subjects were given glimpses of playing cards, one at a time, and asked to name them. There was a trick, of course. A few of the cards were freakish: for example, a red six of spades or a black queen of diamonds.

At high speed the subjects sailed smoothly along. Nothing could have been simpler. They didn’t see the anomalies at all. Shown a red six of spades, they would sing out either “six of hearts” or “six of spades.” But when the cards were displayed for longer intervals, the subjects started to hesitate. They became aware of a problem but were not sure quite what it was. A subject might say that he had seen something odd, like a red border around a black heart.

Continuar leyendo «Revolution»

Macroeconomics: Back to Square One

I agree with the harsh judgment that Lucas and Sargent (1979) made about the macromodels of their day– that they relied on identifying assumptions that were not credible. The situation now is worse. Models make assumptions that are no more credible and far more opaque.

I also agree with the harsh judgment that Lucas and Sargent made about the predictions of those Keynesian models, the prediction that an increase in the inflation rate would cause a reduction in the unemployment rate.

Continuar leyendo «Macroeconomics: Back to Square One»

Desaprendiendo econometría: La Inflación

Adelantábamos hace unas semanas el primero de los problemas irresolubles de la Econometría. Léase, una disciplina que se ve obligada a ignorar la propia Realidad que aspira a explicar. En el mejor de los casos, el económetra se inventará mediciones aproximadas arbitrariamente diseñadas, con las que intentará acercarse a unos conceptos que por definición no pueden verse capturados en modelos matemáticos. Por la misma razón por la que la práctica cuantitativa es defectuosa en cuanto a la medición del Desempleo, también lo es en cuanto a la Inflación.

Cojamos como ejemplo Venezuela, país que ciertamente está sufriendo lo que no está escrito. La semana pasada, uno de estos especialistas en mediciones económicas nos afirmó que los bolivarianos están a punto de registrar la mayor inflación de su historia. Y el hombre te proporciona las cifras. Exactas. 755,77%. No dirán que no parece científico.

Continuar leyendo «Desaprendiendo econometría: La Inflación»