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Alfred Marshall Lecture: Using and Abusing Economic Theory

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Author Info

  • Paul Klemperer

    (Nuffield College, Oxford University,)

Abstract

Economic theory is often abused in practical policy-making. There is frequently excessive focus on sophisticated theory at the expense of elementary theory; too much economic knowledge can sometimes be a dangerous thing. Too little attention is paid to the wider economic context, and to the dangers posed by political pressures. Superficially trivial distinctions between policy proposals may be economically significant, while economically irrelevant distinctions may be politically important. I illustrate with some disastrous government auctions, but also show the value of economic theory. (JEL: A11, B4, D44, L96) Copyright (c) 2003 The European Economic Association.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by MIT Press in its journal Journal of the European Economic Association.

Volume (Year): 1 (2003)
Issue (Month): 2-3 (04/05)
Pages: 272-300

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Handle: RePEc:tpr:jeurec:v:1:y:2003:i:2-3:p:272-300

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Cited by:
  1. Noe, Thomas H. & Rebello, Michael & Wang, Jun, 2012. "Learning to bid: The design of auctions under uncertainty and adaptation," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 74(2), pages 620-636.
  2. de Frutos, Maria-Angeles & Fabra, Natalia, 2008. "On the Impact of Forward Contract Obligations in Multi-Unit Auctions," CEPR Discussion Papers 6756, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  3. de Frutos, María-Ángeles & Fabra, Natalia, 2012. "How to allocate forward contracts: The case of electricity markets," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 56(3), pages 451-469.
  4. Luciano De Castro, 2010. "Affiliation, Equilibrium Existence and Revenue Ranking of Auctions," Discussion Papers 1530, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
  5. Espinosa, Miguel & Forero, German & Villaneda, Felipe, 2011. "The practice of the auction theory: The Colombian case," MPRA Paper 31150, University Library of Munich, Germany.

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