经济学的偏执狂风格

新德里—为何高水平经济争论会这么快演变为人身攻击?最著名的最新例子要数诺贝尔经济学奖获得者保罗·克鲁格曼抨击经济学家卡门·莱因哈特和肯尼斯·罗格夫了,克鲁格曼一开始批评的是他们论文中的一个错误,但很快,批评目标变成了他们对学术透明度的承诺。

对像我这样认识这两位大牌国际经济学家的人来说,显然这些指责应该立刻被打消。但一个更大的问题是为什么这一偏执狂风格如此流行。

部分答案在于经济学是一门不精确的科学,几乎所有经济学家视为理所当然的行为模式都存在例外。比如,经济学家预测商品价格的升高会减少对它的需求。但经济学学生毫无疑问在学习生涯伊始就会遇到“吉芬商品”,这种商品就不符合这一规律。当墨西哥玉米饼变得更贵时,贫穷的墨西哥工人 可能会吃更多的玉米饼,因为他不得不削减更贵的食品(比如肉类)的消费。

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