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Mathiness: not just a problem of macro-economics

Wed, 03 Jun 2015 07:38:00 GMT

I was aware of the "mathiness" discussion initiated by the macro-economist Paul Romer, but have only read the articles because while the discussion was taking place I was finishing of an article for The Mathematical Intelligencer that presents a remarkably similar argument (noting that mathematicians consider a coffee cup and doughnut to be the same). Romer's concern is in the field of economic growth - an area I am unfamiliar with -  but two related statements caught my attention For the last two decades, growth theory has made no scientific progress  toward a consensus. ... The question posed here is why the methods of science have failed to resolve the disagreement between these two groups.and, postulating on why science has failed to come to a consensus, Romer offers an explanation as "mathiness" 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 natural...

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