Saturday, July 26, 2014

Merijn Knibbe — Estimating capital. Robert Gallman edition

In economics, there is an unfortunate rift between academics and the economists who actually measure the economy. Which means that academic economists give little attention to the extremely important question how economic concepts relate to actual measurements – one reason why so much of their work is naïve (‘Ricardian’ households which spend more when taxes go up and the like). Fortunately, economic historians, who often have to do the measurements themselves, often bridge part of the gap. Robert Gallman has some highly relevant remarks about different ways to measure (nineteenth century USA) capital – and how these relate to the future, the past, uncertainty, savings, consumption foregone and replacement costs. This still leaves out important parts of the concept of capital like liquidity, ownership and the ‘overlapping generations’ problem – which however does not make these remarks less valuable.
"Naïve" or BS?

Real-World Economics Review Blog
Estimating capital. Robert Gallman edition
Merijn Knibbe

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