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I modelli economici vanno messi a posto

BERKELEY – Quando i politici si rivolgono agli economisti per una consulenza, si aspettano che i consigli ricevuti siano fondati sulla scienza, e non sulla faziosità accademica o su presupposizioni politiche. Dopo tutto, le politiche che metteranno in atto avranno delle implicazioni reali per le persone reali. Sfortunatamente, però, la fondatezza scientifica non è sempre la forza trainante alla base di analisi economiche e raccomandazioni politiche.

In una recente critica di ciò che definisce “mathiness” (modelli economici assertivi) dell’economia moderna, Paul M. Romer della New York University sostiene che gli economisti debbano prendere provvedimenti per escludere la faziosità accademica e la politica dalla scienza triste. Romer si basa su un dibattito attualmente in corso in quest’ambito sul ruolo che le idee rivestono nel promuovere la crescita economica.

Romer sembra preoccuparsi soprattutto per la tendenza degli economisti di asserire che ciò che è vero rispetto a certi tipi di teorie è vero per tutte le teorie e quindi applicabile al mondo reale. A titolo esemplificativo, Romer cita l’opera dell’economista dell’Università di Chicago Robert Lucas, che in un articolo di ricerca del 2009 “Idee e crescita” respinge il ruolo che libri o prototipi possono rivestire nel trainare la crescita. “Si può incorporare conoscenza in libri, prototipi, macchine e altre tipologie di capitale fisico, e sappiamo come inserire il capitale in un modello di crescita”, sosteneva Lucas, “ma sappiamo anche che tale procedimento non è di per sé un motore di crescita sostenuta”.

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