Friedman Essay In Positive Economics

But an essay which appeals to predictive power without specifying predictions, by an author who defends unrealistic assumptions before questioning the assumptions of his opponents, should not be the basis for the methodology of any discipline.“Consider the problem of predicting the shots made by an expert billiard player. complicated mathematical formulas” may be an interesting analogy, but it tells us nothing about billiard players.

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The theory provides formal models of imaginary worlds, not generalizations about the real world.

It’s difficult for me to understand why a completely counterfactual model of how firms price does not qualify as an imaginary world when Lange’s work (which actually used very similar mathematics) does.

There is no way to test this implication other than by asking businesses whether or not they do it.

Because he disputed you could test the theory one way while neglecting to point out how it might be tested another way, Friedman’s essay is anti-empirical. And the funniest thing is that His categories are selected primarily to facilitate logical analysis, not empirical application or test.

Like everyone else, economists consider certain sets of assumptions beyond the pale.

This is fine as it goes, but we should stop pretending they buy into the mantra of ‘assumptions don’t matter’ because nobody does.

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I’d like explain my response that nobody believes in the essay.


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