How Economists Should Respond to Trumpian Disdain for Experts
8 Pages Posted: 28 Dec 2018
Date Written: December 19, 2018
The models that the economics profession considers acceptable, particularly their assumptions regarding the precision with which we can know the future, create insuperable obstacles to formulating a rational response to the disdain for experts that President Donald Trump nourishes and exploits. This becomes clear from a critical discussion of the use of prevailing models to analyze the consequences of the 2017 tax overhaul. The profession would benefit from a novel approach, applied here to understanding stock-price movements, that recognizes that economists—like everyone else—face unforeseeable change about the future. Acknowledging the inherent limits of what we can know about the future would go a long way toward restoring public trust in what economists’ knowledge can actually contribute to policymaking.
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