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Response from an Economist Who Also Favors Liberty

James Galbraith ()
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James Galbraith: LBJ School, University of Texas

Eastern Economic Journal, 2001, vol. 27, issue 2, 227-229

Abstract: Economists can to some extent enlighten policymakers and the public and influence public policy. That enlightenment is achieved more by concrete policy work and application of basics than by fancy models and fancy statistical significance. There is a trade-off between relevance/importance and rigor/precision. Because many economists concentrate on rigor and precision, their influence in public affairs is not as good as it could be. The professional emphasis on scholastic crafts forsakes the Smithian character of political economy. A more Smithian character for the economics profession would lead to better government policy. The primary article by Daniel B. Klein is followed by comments by Gordon Tullock, Deirdre McCloskey, Israel M. Kirzner, C.A.E. Goodhart, Robert H. Frank and James K. Galbraith and a rejoinder by Daniel B. Klein.

JEL-codes: A11 A13 H00 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2001
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