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Biweekly links for 10/17/2008

by Michael Nielsen on October 17, 2008
  • In Honor of Paul Krugman: Avinash Dixit
    • “…Paul’s typical modus operandi. He spots an important economic issue coming down the pike months or years before anyone else. Then he constructs a little model of it, which offers some new and unexpected insight. Soon the issue reaches general attention, and Krugman’s model is waiting for other economists to catch up. Their reaction is generally a mixture of admiration and irritation. The model is wonderfully clear and simple. But it leaves out so much, and relies on so many special assumptions including specific functional forms, that they don’t think it could possibly do justice to the complexity of the issue. Armies of well-trained economists go to work on it, and extend and generalize it to the point where it would get some respect from rigorous theorists. In this process they do contribute some new ideas and find some new results. But, as a rule, they find something else… His special assumptions go to the heart of the problem, like a narrow and sharp stiletto.”

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