Tuesday, July 08, 2014

NON-THEORIES OF GROWTH IN MODERN ECONOMICS

Recently, I read a fascinating account (obtainable by reasonable subscription only) of the politics of the award of Nobel Prizes in economics by a top, insider-journalist who authors a weekly analysis of high-level, mainly US, economists at the top universities, and their counterparts in top-level politics and government. 
Recently, the informed journalist discussed the “Romer” case, especially interesting to me, as it explains what has been a minor mystery to me since the time because of the Romer’s case virtually disappearing among academics in what I regarded then (and still do) as the most promising idea of “exogenous gowth”.  
While I was never involved in such blue sky-high ideas like the major players in the rarified elysiun fields of pure growth theory, I formed my own conclusions on the importance of growth theories (despite Harrod-Dormar, Solow, and Swan, etceterra). 
I have remained an occasional spectator of the absence of a convincing explanation of economic growth (from the classicals to, yes, Pikett). I put the absence of a credible growth theory in moderm economics down to the neglect by modern theorists from their contemplative indifference towards history - and, more important, ignorance of the deep pre-history of Homo sapiens.
Adam Smith, exceptionally, was interested in the significance of “savage” adaptions of Nature to suit human needs, unlike other animals that remain prisoners of Nature's bounties. Smith’s conjectures are what I consider to be the first step in growth theory, though not seen as such, neither then, nor since, by mainstream economists who are and ought to be, in the running for future Nobel Prizes. 
Adam Smith, exceptionally, was interested in the significance of the “savage” adaptations of Nature specificallyto suit human needs, hampered by strict limits to his knowledge of what happened in deep history. I consider consideration of what may have happened to be the first cannonical step towards a theory of endogenous growth, though not seen as such, neither then nor since. 
I refer you to Smith’s lecture in his Lectures on Jurisprudence (LJ  Monday 28 March, 1763, pp. 334-39, Oxford and Liberty Press editions).  I discuss occasionaly aspects of Smith’s lecture at on Lost Legacy without drawing out my suggestion of its significance for growth theory.  I am tackling this in an essay I am composing at present.  

Smith’s text stumbles around a bit, as per usual, and his unstated insights were probably missed by his audience of very young students.  However, getting back to basics via Smith’s early thinking clarifies the muddle of modern growth theory that tries to contain complex and varied human behaviours in an equation, where each step in the maths takes you further from the real world. Recently, I read a fascinating account (obtainable by reasonable subscription only) of the politics of the award of Nobel Prizes in economics by a top, insider-journalist who authors a weekly analysis of US high-level economists at the top universities, and their counterparts in top-level politics and government. 
Recently, the informed journalist discussed the “Romer” case, especially interesting to me, as it explains what has been a minor mystery to me since the 1980s because Romer’s contribution virtually disappeared among academics in what I regarded then (and still do) as the most promising idea of “exogenous gowth”.  
While I was never involved in such sky-high ideas of the major players in the rarified elysiun fields of pure growth theory, I formed my own conclusions on the importance of growth theories (despite Harrod-Dormar, Solow, Swan, and Romer, etceterra). 
I have remained an occasional spectator of the absence of a convincing explanation of economic growth (from the classicals to, yes, Pikett). I put the absence of a credible growth theory in moderm economics down to the neglect by modern theorists from their contemplative indifference towards history - and, more important, ignorance of the deep pre-history of Homo sapiens.
Adam Smith, exceptionally, was interested in the significance of “savage” adaptions of Nature to suit human needs unlike other animals which remained prisoners of Nature's bounties. Smith’s conjectures are what I consider to be the first step in growth theory, though not seen as such, neither then, nor since, by mainstream economists who are and ought to be, in the running for future Nobel Prizes. 
Adam Smith, exceptionally, was interested in the significance of the “savage” adaptations of Nature specifically to suit human needs, hampered by strict limits to his knowledge of what happened in deep history. I consider  what may have happened to be the first cannonical step towards a theory of endogenous growth, though not seen as such, neither then nor since. 
I refer to Smith’s  Lectures on Jurisprudence (LJ  Monday 28 March, 1763, pp. 334-39, Oxford and Liberty Press editions).  I discuss aspects of Smith’s lecture on Lost Legacy without drawing out my suggestion of its significance for growth theory.  I am tackling this in an essay I am composing at present.  
Smith’s text stumbles around a bit, as per usual, and his unstated insights were probably missed by his audience of very young students.  However, getting back to basics via Smith’s early thinking, clarifies the muddle of modern growth theory that tries to contain complex and varied human behaviours in an equation, where each step in the maths takes you further from the real world.

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