Is macroeconomics a science?

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  • As Charles Wolf shows, macroeconomics is not a science.

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  • Macroeconomics can never become a science because it is a matter of predicting the reactions of human beings.

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Is macroeconomics a science? Charles Wolf shows how it is not. "True believers in either policy, which include Nobel Prize winners on both sides," he writes, "discount the results." In other words, the data cannot settle the arguments, which are largely a matter of belief and thus not a science—Q.E.D. But can macroeconomics ever become a science sometime in the future? Mr. Wolf also tells us why it can't: It is a matter of predicting reactions of human beings, whose reactions change in response to the actions based on the predictions. From this, it is easy to see why those who believe that governments and central banks can manage economies will always be disappointed.

Alex J. Pollock
American Enterprise Institute
Washington

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Alex J.
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