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Mathiness in the Theory of Economic Growth

Listed author(s):
  • Paul M. Romer

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.

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File URL: http://www.aeaweb.org/articles.php?doi=10.1257/aer.p20151066
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Article provided by American Economic Association in its journal American Economic Review.

Volume (Year): 105 (2015)
Issue (Month): 5 (May)
Pages: 89-93

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Handle: RePEc:aea:aecrev:v:105:y:2015:i:5:p:89-93
Note: DOI: 10.1257/aer.p20151066
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  1. Wagner, Alfred, 1891. "Marshall's Principles of Economics," History of Economic Thought Articles, McMaster University Archive for the History of Economic Thought, vol. 5, pages 319-338.
  2. Robert E. Lucas Jr. & Benjamin Moll, 2014. "Knowledge Growth and the Allocation of Time," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 122(1), pages 1-51.
  3. Gary S. Becker, 1962. "Investment in Human Capital: A Theoretical Analysis," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 70, pages 1-9.
  4. Romer, Paul, 1994. "New goods, old theory, and the welfare costs of trade restrictions," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 43(1), pages 5-38, February.
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