Gordon and Lawrence Summers both make the same mistakeby Anatole Kaletsky / February 18, 2016 / Leave a comment
Published in March 2016 issue of Prospect Magazine
Read the two pieces from last month’s Prospect that Anatole Kaletsky is replying to:
Last month Prospect published two articles about economic growth by two of the world’s most distinguished economists, Robert Gordon and Lawrence Summers. These reminded me of why, 40 years ago, I decided not to become an academic economist and drop out of the Harvard PhD programme where, as it happens, Summers was my fellow student. Instead of shedding light on business and social realities, academic economists seem to prefer to debate among themselves over the intricacies of statistical methods and largely spurious mathematical models. As the joke most famously made by Ronald Reagan runs, an economist is someone who, when he or she sees something working in practice, then wonders if it works in theory too.