I'm a sociologist*, and there is nothing sociologists like to do more than point out where economists go wrong. So if GDP was a worthless figure, I expect the real world entanglement that one of my fellow sociologists would have convinced me of that already.

I'm not saying economists never overinterpret GDP figures, and I'm not saying the consensus of macroeconomists is always correct.

Though I think we might both be better served by quitting conversation and reading actual experts (I don't claim to be one) I would like to make sure we're on the same page about the implications of your criticism. Are you not saying that it is essentially worthless to attempt to study economic growth or business cycles empirically because the data is so poor?

*if you can be one without having completed your dissertation yet.

I'm a sociologist, and there is nothing sociologists like to do more than point out where economists go wrong. So if GDP was a worthless figure, I expect the real world entanglement that one of my fellow sociologists would have convinced me of that already.

This sounds to me like a case of mistakenly thinking "someone would have noticed!". What exactly would sociologists have noticed and hasn't happened? Remember, "my echo chamber in academia agrees with me" doesn't count as evidence!

And, FWIW, sociologists (and a lot of the left in... (read more)

Open Thread June 2010, Part 3

by Kevin 1 min read14th Jun 2010627 comments

6


This thread is for the discussion of Less Wrong topics that have not appeared in recent posts. If a discussion gets unwieldy, celebrate by turning it into a top-level post.

The thrilling conclusion of what is likely to be an inaccurately named trilogy of June Open Threads.