Tuesday, February 26, 2013

"Is theory enough?" Or, "My Issue With Bryan Caplan's Issue"

            In Bryan Caplans article “Why I Am Not an Austrian Economist” he addresses a variety of ideas put forth from the Austrian school of economic thought. My eye was drawn toward his question of “Is Theory Enough?” Proffessor Caplan agrees to some point with Mises and Rothbard that economic theory is a useful tool (if not the only tool) in the economists arsenal. His attack against the Austrian thought is that they don't follow through with the mathematics behind their theories. He brings up the all the theories developed since economic mathematics and econometrics have evolved in 1949 as a attack against the Austrians. I don't believe that he has a valid point in this area, I'll give it to Mr. Caplan that it is very possible that several of the theories brought forth in that time entirely due to the developed mathematics but his seeming attack undermining what the Austrians had theorized without the use of mathematics doesn't seem completely reasonable.
         If their theories are still valid today why does it matter how quantitatively significant each individual point is? I find issue with his seeming importance on backing up with numbers what is sound economic theory. The market is the numbers he is looking for, all the factors of if a theory works or not can only be perceived in how a market continues and the numbers he seems to rely on are based only theories anyway.

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