Calculators and Quacks : Feeling the Economy's Pulse in Times of Crisis

Détails

ID Serval
serval:BIB_932EFCCF4BAA
Type
Partie de livre
Sous-type
Chapitre: chapitre ou section
Collection
Publications
Titre
Calculators and Quacks : Feeling the Economy's Pulse in Times of Crisis
Titre du livre
Including a Symposium on Mary Morgan : Curiosity, Imagination, and Surprise
Auteur(s)
Maas Harro
Editeur
Emerald Publishing Limited
ISBN
978-1-78756-424-4 (Hardback)
978-1-78756-423-7 (Ebook)
ISSN
0743-4154
Statut éditorial
Publié
Date de publication
24/10/2018
Peer-reviewed
Oui
Volume
36B
Série
Research in the History of Economic Thought and Methodology
Numéro de chapitre
3
Pages
23-39
Langue
bachkir
Résumé
In this chapter, I take a talk show in which Coen Teulings, then Director of the official Dutch Bureau for Economic Forecasting and Policy Analysis (CPB) was interviewed about its economic forecasts in the immediate aftermath
of the financial crisis of 2008 as point of entry into an examination into how personal experience and judgment enter, and are essential for, the production and presentation of economic forecasts. During the interview it transpired that CPB did not rely on its macroeconomic models, but on personal experience encapsulated in “hand-made” monitors, to observe the unfolding crisis; monitors that were, in Teulings’ words, used to “feel the pulse” of the Dutch economy. I will take this metaphor as a cue to present several historical episodes in which models, numbers, and a certain feel for economic phenomena aimed to make CPB economists’ research more precise. These episodes are linked with a story about vain attempts by CPB director Teulings to drive out the personal from economic forecasting. The crisis forced him to recognize that personal experience was more important in increasing the precision of economic forecasts than theoretical deepening.
The crisis thus both challenged the belief in the supremacy of theory driven, computer-based forecasting, and helped foster the view that precision is inevitably linked to judgment, experience and observation, and not seated in increased attention to high theory; scientifically sound knowledge proved less useful than the technically unqualified experiential knowledge of quacks.
Mots-clé
Macroeconomic forecasting, economic modeling, economic monitors, precision, judgment, personal knowledge, CPB
Création de la notice
13/10/2018 23:54
Dernière modification de la notice
20/10/2018 6:11
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