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Mathiness in the Theory of Economic Growth

date Date: March 1, 2015
date Author(s): Paul Romer
date Affiliation: New York University
Abstract

Academic politics, like any other type of politics, is better served by words that are evocative and ambiguous, but if an argument is transparently political, economists interested in science will simply ignore it. The style that I am calling mathiness lets academic politics masquerade as science. Like mathematical theory, mathiness uses a mixture of words and symbols, but instead of making tight links, it leaves ample room for slippage between statements in natural versus formal language and between statements with theoretical as opposed to empirical content.

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