Comments on: PPE morphs to PNE http://blogs.reuters.com/emanuelderman/2011/08/30/ppe-morphs-to-pne/ Models.Behaving.Badly Fri, 14 Sep 2012 09:10:53 +0000 hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.2.5 By: stat_arb http://blogs.reuters.com/emanuelderman/2011/08/30/ppe-morphs-to-pne/#comment-181 Sun, 09 Oct 2011 23:19:43 +0000 http://blogs.reuters.com/emanuelderman/?p=283#comment-181 So I still don’t totally get the point of your observation, but I did think of one implication to political arguments about tax policy:

No tax regime, whether flat-tax, progressive, VAT, …. is value-neutral. Although certain believers in markets might consider “the least invasive” tax policy, or “the most market-neutral” tax policy to be value-neutral, it is still in fact social engineering. That’s a four-letter word so people shy away from it. But as economists have argued when discussing the value of a human life, “doing nothing” is doing something. Just so, letting “the market” mete out $ is just as much a social-justice programme as wealth-redistribution.

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By: stat_arb http://blogs.reuters.com/emanuelderman/2011/08/30/ppe-morphs-to-pne/#comment-160 Sat, 03 Sep 2011 19:44:07 +0000 http://blogs.reuters.com/emanuelderman/?p=283#comment-160 Hence what?

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By: RedItalian http://blogs.reuters.com/emanuelderman/2011/08/30/ppe-morphs-to-pne/#comment-151 Thu, 01 Sep 2011 20:41:42 +0000 http://blogs.reuters.com/emanuelderman/?p=283#comment-151 Maybe because when they speak to the daily papers, economists like to preach instead of teach. That also allows to be pretty vague, which is always good for the future track records…..

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By: EmanuelDerman http://blogs.reuters.com/emanuelderman/2011/08/30/ppe-morphs-to-pne/#comment-149 Thu, 01 Sep 2011 15:29:05 +0000 http://blogs.reuters.com/emanuelderman/?p=283#comment-149 RE RedItalian: The point I wanted to make was that though academic economics looks like science3, the passionate economic arguments in the daily papers are actually about philosophy and politics, not about science.

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By: RedItalian http://blogs.reuters.com/emanuelderman/2011/08/30/ppe-morphs-to-pne/#comment-148 Wed, 31 Aug 2011 15:00:49 +0000 http://blogs.reuters.com/emanuelderman/?p=283#comment-148 Maybe Economics is just growing up. From the young age full of ideals and good intentions, when it’s possible and actually moral mandatory, to define what is good; to a more grown up, cynical and maybe fatalistic stage, when all the different outcomes are just a flat landscape in moral terms.

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By: LeighCaldwell http://blogs.reuters.com/emanuelderman/2011/08/30/ppe-morphs-to-pne/#comment-147 Tue, 30 Aug 2011 16:46:22 +0000 http://blogs.reuters.com/emanuelderman/?p=283#comment-147 So you’d suggest PPPNE? personally I’d drop the N, but that’s not really the issue.

There is a (small) strand of research looking at the philosophy, ethics and normative aspects of behavioural economics – some of Bob Sugden’s work for example is in this area. But there is definitely a niche waiting to be filled here. When we build a sufficiently detailed descriptive model of how psychological factors lead to apparent preferences, and then to choices, there is the possibility that normative questions get squeezed out. I am not sure exactly at what level to reintroduce them, but it is worth exploring.

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