Main menu:

History of RPE Thought

Posts by Tag

RSS New from the CCPA

  • A critical look at BC’s new tax breaks and subsidies for LNG May 7, 2019
    The BC government has offered much more to the LNG industry than the previous government. Read the report by senior economist Marc Lee.  
    Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives
  • The 2019 living wage for Metro Vancouver April 30, 2019
    The 2019 living wage for Metro Vancouver is $19.50/hour. This is the amount needed for a family of four with each of two parents working full-time at this hourly rate to pay for necessities, support the healthy development of their children, escape severe financial stress and participate in the social, civic and cultural lives of […]
    Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives
  • Time to regulate gas prices in BC and stop industry gouging April 29, 2019
    Drivers in Metro Vancouver are reeling from record high gas prices, and many commentators are blaming taxes. But it’s not taxes causing pain at the pump — it’s industry gouging. Our latest research shows that gas prices have gone up by 55 cents per litre since 2016 — and the vast majority of that increase […]
    Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives
  • CCPA welcomes Randy Robinson as new Ontario Director March 27, 2019
    The Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives is pleased to announce the appointment of Randy Robinson as the new Director of our Ontario Office.  Randy’s areas of expertise include public sector finance, the gendered rise of precarious work, neoliberalism, and labour rights. He has extensive experience in communications and research, and has been engaged in Ontario’s […]
    Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives
  • 2019 Federal Budget Analysis February 27, 2019
    Watch this space for response and analysis of the federal budget from CCPA staff and our Alternative Federal Budget partners. More information will be added as it is available. Commentary and Analysis  Aim high, spend low: Federal budget 2019 by David MacDonald (CCPA) Budget 2019 fiddles while climate crisis looms by Hadrian Mertins-Kirkwood (CCPA) Budget hints at priorities for upcoming […]
    Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives
Progressive Bloggers


Recent Blog Posts

Posts by Author

Recent Blog Comments

The Progressive Economics Forum

The Perils of Mathematization

Worthwhile Canadian Initiative has presented a list of its most viewed posts from 2010. The top post is so worthwhile that it warrants further promotion.

The President of the Minneapolis Federal Reserve had warned that unduly low interest rates would cause deflation. Of course, anyone with a handle on basic macroeconomics knows that the risk of leaving interest rates too low is inflation. (I do not believe that this risk is currently very serious.)

Nick Rowe suggested the following:

I notice he has an undergraduate in maths, then went straight into a PhD in economics. My conjecture: I bet he never took Intro Economics, or anything vaguely similar. I bet he waded straight into the mathematical deep end. And so he never really learned economics. . . . If you explain this in words, as you have to in Intro Economics, you have to get it right.

Enjoy and share:


Comment from Paul Tulloch
Time: January 3, 2011, 1:35 pm

wasn’t Keynes one of those math guys that jumped into the deep end as well?

Comment from Mathieu Dufour
Time: January 5, 2011, 3:02 pm

Here is an article by Yanis Varoufakis in MRzine on Paul Samuelson, one of the main people responsible for the move to formalisation through mathematics. It also contains a discussion on how the approach was a radical departure from that of Keynes and others. Some parts of this discussion are debatable (e.g. the paragraph pasted below), but I think the article remains a good contribution to the debate on the pros and cons of formalisation regardless.

Any formalist makeover of Keynes’ thinking required the conversion of his basic proposition into a provable theorem; an axiomatization of the hypothesis that, at a time of crisis, falling wages and interest rates do not lead to a recovery led by employment and investment upticks. However, such an axiomatic proof can only result through a Debreu-like General Equilibrium model. Ironically, the latter comes with a sine qua non hidden axiom: that both investment and employment will rise, ceteris paribus, if wages and interest rates fall.

Comment from Travis Fast
Time: January 5, 2011, 7:53 pm

“Ironically, the latter comes with a sine qua non hidden axiom: that both investment and employment will rise, ceteris paribus, if wages and interest rates fall.”

Yah it is ironic only if you think public policy circa mid seventies is one large irony play.

Write a comment

Related articles