How The Internet Changes The Practice Of Macroeconomics

I have been invited to give a lecture at the LSE next Monday (14 February) about how new sources of information, and access to multiple points of view, affect how we carry out the practice of macroeconomic analysis. It is an open – first-come-first-served – lecture, and all are welcome.

Among the obvious topics I will deal with, like access to information and the role of social networks, I will also be looking into that tricky little issue of why it is so much mainstream academic theoretical output would seem to have contributed so little to our understanding of the present global crisis. Many practitioners of economics neither saw the problem coming, nor have a coherent strategy for finding ways of getting out of it.

In order to “frame” this discussion I will take as my starting point the issues raised in Ricardo Caballero’s recent paper in the Journal of Economic Perspectives: Macroeconomics after the Crisis: Time to Deal with the Pretense-of-Knowledge Syndrome (User friendly downloadable copy here)

Interestingly, the lecture will be chaired by Luis Garicano, who was the man to whom the Queen of England put the awkward and now famous question as to why so few economists actually saw it all coming.

Since I actually studied economics at the LSE, many, many years ago, this event is a kind of homecoming on the personal level.

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About Edward Hugh

Edward 'the bonobo is a Catalan economist of British extraction. After being born, brought-up and educated in the United Kingdom, Edward subsequently settled in Barcelona where he has now lived for over 15 years. As a consequence Edward considers himself to be "Catalan by adoption". He has also to some extent been "adopted by Catalonia", since throughout the current economic crisis he has been a constant voice on TV, radio and in the press arguing in favor of the need for some kind of internal devaluation if Spain wants to stay inside the Euro. By inclination he is a macro economist, but his obsession with trying to understand the economic impact of demographic changes has often taken him far from home, off and away from the more tranquil and placid pastures of the dismal science, into the bracken and thicket of demography, anthropology, biology, sociology and systems theory. All of which has lead him to ask himself whether Thomas Wolfe was not in fact right when he asserted that the fact of the matter is "you can never go home again".

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