Archive for June 20th, 2017

Common Economics proofs techniques: Unlearning Economics edition…

June 20, 2017

Unlearning Economics lists several proof (or proofing ) techniques by economists. Another ouch moment for economics students:


Have international financial centres lost their mojo?

June 20, 2017

Not one it. They have only become stronger as this post from IMF suggests. Infact, earlier these centres were home to financial corporations.Now even real sector firms are crowding in:


Leontief on the dismal state of economics

June 20, 2017

How economists including eminent ones have argued about dismal state of economics for a while now but have been ignored.

RWER blog points to this interesting lecture from Wassily Leontief .It is part of his Presidential address delivered at the eighty-third meeting of The American Economic Association in 1970 (full lecture here):

Much of current academic teaching and research has been criticized for its lack of relevance, that is, of immediate practical impact … I submit that the consistently indifferent performance in practical applications is in fact a symptom of a fundamental imbalance in the present state of our discipline. The weak and all too slowly growing empirical foundation clearly cannot support the proliferating superstructure of pure, or should I say, speculative economic theory …

Uncritical enthusiasm for mathematical formulation tends often to conceal the ephemeral substantive content of the argument behind the formidable front of algebraic signs … In the presentation of a new model, attention nowadays is usually centered on a step-by-step derivation of its formal properties. But if the author — or at least the referee who recommended the manuscript for publication — is technically competent, such mathematical manipulations, however long and intricate, can even without further checking be accepted as correct. Nevertheless, they are usually spelled out at great length. By the time it comes to interpretation of the substantive conclusions, the assumptions on which the model has been based are easily forgotten. But it is precisely the empirical validity of these assumptions on which the usefulness of the entire exercise depends.

What is really needed, in most cases, is a very difficult and seldom very neat assessment and verification of these assumptions in terms of observed facts. Here mathematics cannot help and because of this, the interest and enthusiasm of the model builder suddenly begins to flag: “If you do not like my set of assumptions, give me another and I will gladly make you another model; have your pick.” …

But shouldn’t this harsh judgment be suspended in the face of the impressive volume of econometric work? The answer is decidedly no. This work can be in general characterized as an attempt to compensate for the glaring weakness of the data base available to us by the widest possible use of more and more sophisticated statistical techniques. Alongside the mounting pile of elaborate theoretical models we see a fast-growing stock of equally intricate statistical tools. These are intended to stretch to the limit the meager supply of facts … Like the economic models they are supposed to implement, the validity of these statistical tools depends itself on the acceptance of certain convenient assumptions pertaining to stochastic properties of the phenomena which the particular models are intended to explain; assumptions that can be seldom verified.

Criticism still remains valid and will remain ignored as well..

What right does Finance Minister have to deny loan waivers to farmers?

June 20, 2017

Interview of Prabhakar Kelkar, Vice-President of Bharatiya Kisan Sangh.

He says the country is sitting on a volcano with farmer unrest everywhere.


Pune Municipal Corporation Bond Issue Oversubscribed

June 20, 2017

Interesting update from Ira Dugal. Pune Municipal Corporation issued a bond worth Rs 200 cr and got oversubscribed by 6 times. Will this see revival of municipal bonds in India?


How reading Annual reports of companies can reveal the secrets a company wants to hide…

June 20, 2017

Nice piece by Narendra Nathan of ET Bureau.

Tells you what all key things to look into while reading annual reports of companies..

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