Must-Read: Paul Romer: Protecting the Norms of Science in Economics

Must-Read: Paul Romer: Protecting the Norms of Science in Economics: “For the history of the Stigler-Friedman attack on monopolistic competition…

…see… Craig Freedman’s…Chicago Fundamentalism.  Or go back and read Stigler’s… Monopolistic Competition in Retrospect. Publishing a book in 1949, with a title that suggests a post-mortem, is pure Stigler…. [While] monopolistic competition has all corners of the profession that the University of Chicago does not control… Stigler has the last laugh, because for him it was not about economic theory… [but] saving the free world…. This attack served the political purposes he intended it to have; and that what economic theorist think today hardly matters at all…. Stigler and Friedman undertook because they honestly believed that the future of individual freedom was threatened by the call for a more active government that followed in the wake of the Great Depression…. They singled out Keynesian and Chamberlinian theory as the two types of theory that had to be destroyed, so that Marshallian theory could be restored to its dominant position…. With this motivation in mind, it is worth re-reading Friedman’s chapter on methodology…

May 19, 2015

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