Details

Prediction or Prophecy?


Prediction or Prophecy?

The Boundaries of Economic Foreknowledge and Their Socio-Political Consequences

von: Prof. Dr. Holm Tetens, Gregor Betz

79,72 €

Verlag: Deutscher Universitätsverlag
Format: PDF
Veröffentl.: 06.10.2007
ISBN/EAN: 9783835090538
Sprache: englisch
Anzahl Seiten: 280

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Beschreibungen

Gregor Betz explores the following questions: Where are the limits of economics, in particular the limits of economic foreknowledge? Are macroeconomic forecasts credible predictions or mere prophecies and what would this imply for the way economic policy decisions are taken? Is rational economic decision making possible without forecasting at all?
"Knowing, in order to predict". It was this leitmotiv alone that Auguste Comte, in the 19th century, considered suitable for the then rapidly developing empirical sciences. This view remains unchanged until today—not only in the empirical sciences themselves, but also in the philosophy of science. A scientific theory is and should be evaluated primarily on the grounds of its capacity to correctly predict observable phenomena. The aim of predicting takes precedence over the other important aim of science, namely to produce and purposefully manipulate phenomena by technical means in the laboratory, moreover, it even includes the latter. For if scientists successfully produce and manipulate certain phenomena in an experiment, they can ipso facto predict how that experiment will evolve under certain conditions. We live in a scientifically-dominated world: The more science progresses, the more important correct scientific predictions become. To a sometimes even fa­ tal extent we have made ourselves dependent on science and its results. Our scientifical-technological interventions into nature, yet also into social processes, cover ever larger spatial and temporal distances, and the consequences are ever more drastic given the increasing effort that would be required to reverse the effects—if that is possible at all. That is the reason why we ought to be very well informed about the consequences of our actions, in particular those based on science and technology.
Recent performance of economic forecasts

A historical perspective on economic forecast performance

Forecast performance in natural sciences

Predictability of complex systems

Expectations and reflexiveness

Sensitive dependence on initial conditions

Experiment and simulation

Unrealistic assumption explanations

Consequences for traditional decision making
Dr. Gregor Betz ist wissenschaftlicher Mitarbeiter von Prof. Dr. Holm Tetens am Fachbereich Philosophie und Geisteswissenschaften der Freien Universität Berlin.
Economic policy making matters to all of us. Economists are supposed to provide the necessary knowledge which enables policy makers to take effective economic policy decisions.

Gregor Betz explores the following questions:

" Where are the limits of economics, in particular the limits of economic foreknowledge?
" Are macroeconomic forecasts credible predictions or mere prophecies and what would this imply for the way economic policy decisions are taken?
" Is rational economic decision making possible without forecasting at all?

Numerous case studies, drawn from economics and natural sciences, underpin the general argumentation.
Economic policy making matters to all of us. Economists are supposed to provide the necessary knowledge which enables policy makers to take effective economic policy decisions.

Gregor Betz explores the following questions:

" Where are the limits of economics, in particular the limits of economic foreknowledge?
" Are macroeconomic forecasts credible predictions or mere prophecies and what would this imply for the way economic policy decisions are taken?
" Is rational economic decision making possible without forecasting at all?

Numerous case studies, drawn from economics and natural sciences, underpin the general argumentation.

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