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Mathiness in the Theory of Economic Growth

Paul Romer

American Economic Review, 2015, vol. 105, issue 5, 89-93

Abstract: Mathiness lets academic politics masquerade as science. Like mathematical theory, mathiness uses a mixture of words and symbols, but instead of making tight links, it leaves ample room for slippage between statements in the languages of words as opposed to symbols, and between statements with theoretical as opposed to empirical content. Because it is difficult to distinguish machines from mathematical theory, the market for lemons tells us that the market for mathematical theory might collapse, leaving only machines as entertainment that is worth little but cheap to produce.

JEL-codes: A11 D72 O41 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2015
Note: DOI: 10.1257/aer.p20151066
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