Archive for economics

send off the clowns!

Posted in pictures, Travel with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on October 19, 2022 by xi'an

a stretched view on Keynes’ Treatise

Posted in Books, pictures, Statistics, University life with tags , , , , , , , on September 20, 2020 by xi'an

I came across a rather bemusing interpretation of Keynes’ Treatise on Probability, as a tribune in Le Monde of 6 September, as being a statement against the mathematical modelling of economy. Written by Annie Cot, professor of economics at Paris Sorbonne University. While the philosophical thread of the book is inclined towards a subjective perception of probability, albeit rejecting the Bayesian approach, and while the view on statistics is equally pessimistic, falling into the infinite regress of conditioning on the observation itself, outside a Bayesian framework, as I discussed in my 2011 paper, the book makes no mention whatsoever of economics or economic models. As far as I remember the book from reading it ten years ago. To conclude, as the author of this tribune, that Keynes rejected the viability of prevision based on economic models via this book sounds therefore stretching the facts to a fair extent.

Deirdre McCloskey dans Le Monde

Posted in Statistics with tags , , , , , , , , on January 13, 2020 by xi'an

econometrics summer masterclass at Warwick, 15 May

Posted in pictures, Statistics, Travel, University life with tags , , , , , on May 9, 2019 by xi'an

There is an Econometrics Summer Masterclass taking place in the department of economics next week in Warwick, on May 15, with Don Rubin as one of the speakers and the masterclass teacher.

Das Kapital [not a book review]

Posted in Statistics with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on August 18, 2017 by xi'an

A rather bland article by Gareth Stedman Jones in Nature reminded me that the first volume of Karl Marx’ Das Kapital is 150 years old this year. Which makes it appear quite close in historical terms [just before the Franco-German war of 1870] and rather remote in scientific terms. I remember going painstakingly through the books in 1982 and 1983, mostly during weekly train trips between Paris and Caen, and not getting much out of it! Even with the help of a cartoon introduction I had received as a 1982 Xmas gift! I had no difficulty in reading the text per se, as opposed to my attempt of Kant’s Critique of Pure Reason the previous summer [along with the other attempt to windsurf!], as the discourse was definitely grounded in economics and not in philosophy. But the heavy prose did not deliver a convincing theory of the evolution of capitalism [and of its ineluctable demise]. While the fundamental argument of workers’ labour being an essential balance to investors’ capital for profitable production was clearly if extensively stated, the extrapolations on diminishing profits associated with decreasing labour input [and the resulting collapse] were murkier and sounded more ideological than scientific. Not that I claim any competence in the matter: my attempts at getting the concepts behind Marxist economics stopped at this point and I have not been seriously thinking about it since! But it still seems to me that the theory did age very well, missing the increasing power of financial agents in running companies. And of course [unsurprisingly] the numerical revolution and its impact on the (des)organisation of work and the disintegration of proletariat as Marx envisioned it. For instance turning former workers into forced and poor entrepreneurs (Uber, anyone?!). Not that the working conditions are particularly rosy for many, from a scarsity of low-skill jobs, to a nurtured competition between workers for existing jobs (leading to extremes like the scandalous zero hour contracts!), to minimum wages turned useless by the fragmentation of the working space and the explosion of housing costs in major cities, to the hopelessness of social democracies to get back some leverage on international companies…

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