Nice line

Ambrose E-P:

(ie pretending to command an exact science, when economics is merely a descriptive branch of anthropology)

An element of truth to it as well, even if it\’s not strictly true.

As I don\’t know much anthropology I can\’t say but economics has moved along so that the sum of predictions can be used to predict sometimes, those predictions being testable and some of them even passing such tests.

But it is the basic ideas which are (trade creates wealth, that sort of thing): not what are interest rates going to be in 5 years time, or what will the inflation rate be.

2 thoughts on “Nice line”

  1. Central bankers – the object of A E-P’s derision – have never pretended that economic forecasting is an exact science, especially in the UK. The whole point of the Bank’s fan charts is to illustrate uncertainty.
    I doubt if any serious economist has ever thought that even proper economics (which has nothing to do with forecasting the future) is an exact science; has A E-P never heard of standard errors, or of Simon/Hayek strictures about limited knowledge and bounded rationality?
    Come to that, how much of the natural sciences are “exact sciences”?

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