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Posted in Spanish on May 26, 2015.

Paul Romer sparked a debate about “mathiness” in the theory of economic growth with a recent article presented in the latest meetings of the American Economic Association. The paper blends several arguments, not all of them entirely fair and some connected to the ideological dispute on state intervention in the economy, but his main message is simple and powerful: math is not science.

Romer is worried that scholars use math (and sometimes sloppy math) not as a tool to explore abstractions and rigorously investigate the answers to relevant questions, but as a way to disguise as science a defense of their preferred theories. This mathiness, he fears, may be so prevalent that the market for ideas may collapse: it will be impossible to separate mathiness from mathematical theory. He concludes...

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