Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Marc Lavoie - Quite Fierce

I think I downloaded Marc Lavoie's paper, "Neoclassical Empirical Evidence: On Employment and Production Laws as Artefact" from some conference proceedings. It's downloadable from his site, but I'm not sure for which recent conference it was presented.

Lavoie summarizes the orthodox response to the Cambridge Capital Controversy and the counterexamples:
  • "Neoclassical authors minimize the capital paradoxes, making an analogy with Giffen goods in microeconomics, which do not question the entire neoclassical edifice;
  • They look for the mathematical conditions that would be required to keep production functions as 'well-behaved', or they claim that this is a simple aggregation problem that can be resolved;
  • They claim that Walrasian general equilibrium theory is impervious to the critique;
  • They claim that they have the faith, or they plead ignorance;
  • Empiricism (It works, therefore it exists)."

And he also mentions how some react to the arguments of such economists as Franklin Fisher and Anwar Shaikh:
"I have discussed some of these issues with a few of my neoclassical colleagues - those that I thought would be most open to dialogue. Amazingly, their response has been to fake that they did not understand the implications of the Shaikh or McCombie papers that I emailed them. The most genuine answers have been that without these elasticity estimates they could not say anything anymore. But they would rather continue making policy proposals based on false information than make no proposition at all. In other words, they would rather be precisely wrong than approximately right."

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