Lukas Püttmann    About    Research    Blog

Collected links

  1. Christof Koch’s book list

  2. How I learnt to love the economic blogosphere” (google for title if gated) (ht: MR):

    There ought to be an ugly Germanic word for it, the anxiety at not having read enough (I like NichtLesenAngst).


    And yet in 10 years of trying to make sense of the economic world around me, I have found nothing as reliably good as the blogosphere.


    Thankfully, it is a conversation, not a syllabus. In a conversation you don’t have to read every word that is spoken.

  3. A prodigy’s story: the math genius turned ultra-Orthodox professor”:

    Her early years were filled with unbelievable accomplishments and a tight-knit, almost claustrophobic relationship with her father, Harry. At age ten, she became the youngest person ever to gain entry into the prestigious Oxford University. […]. She finished her PhD at Oxford at age 18, and at age 19 took on her first academic position, as a junior professor at Harvard University.

  4. John D. Cook on whether anything is really continuous:

    Strictly speaking, maybe not, but practically yes.

  5. Carmen Reinhart on low interest rates:

    The periods around World War I and World War II are routinely overlooked in discussions that focus on deregulation of capital markets since the 1980s. As in the past, during and after financial crises and wars, central banks increasingly resort to a form of “taxation” that helps liquidate the huge public- and private-debt overhang and eases the burden of servicing that debt.

    Such policies, known as financial repression, usually involve a strong connection between the government, the central bank, and the financial sector.

  6. John Cochrane has written an overview paper (pdf) (nber) of Macro-Finance:

    [The different possible microeconomic explanations] also raise[s] the classic question of macroeconomics, when multiple microeconomic stories give the same macroeconomic answer, whether telling apart microfoundations matters.


    Economic models are more quantitative parables than scientifically precise models, and elegant parables are more convincing. Dark matter is particularly inelegant: Models that need an extra assumption for every fact are less convincing than are models that tie several facts together with a small number of assumptions. Financial economics is always in danger of being simply an interpretive or poetic discipline: Markets went down, sentiment must have fallen. Markets went down, risk aversion must have risen. Markets went down, there must have been selling pressure. Markets went down, the Gods must be displeased.


    A note to Ph.D. students: All good economic models are reverse-engineered!


    None of these modeling approaches stands above the others in the list of facts so far addressed. A serious effort to distinguish them has not been made. But, given the fact that the state variables are so correlated, and that the models are all quantitative parables not detailed models-of-everything meant to be literally true, that effort may not be worth the bother.