In Economics, What Calculates Isn't Always Right

A debate over "mathiness" exposes a deeper rift in the discipline.

Does not compute.

Photographer: Spencer Platt / Getty Images

Some of the leading names in economics -- New York University's Paul Romer and Nobel laureates Robert Lucas and Edward Prescott -- have gotten into an unusually public tiff over the proper use of math. Academic as it may seem, the battle reveals a deeper rift in a discipline that is supposed to be aimed at making us all better off.

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