A New Laboratory For Economists

Computer models now mimic consumers and businesses

Has macroeconomics gone Hollywood? Some economists think so. Macroeconomics, they lament, seems to offer increasingly simple-minded plots jazzed up with ever more mind-boggling special effects. That's why Axel Leijonhufvud, an emeritus economics professor at the University of California at Los Angeles, founded UCLA's Center for Computable Economics in 1991. It's one of several new efforts seeking to instill a sense of reality in the dismal science--by coming at economics from a different direction, with new tools.

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