Valid criticism of things I've written about mathiness

May 28, 2015

When I started this discussion about mathiness, I promised myself that I would publicly admit to any mistakes that I make.

There is a post today at Information Transfer Economics that makes a good point:

Romer should have left off the word empirical when he said: “Like mathematical theory, mathiness uses a mixture of words and symbols, but instead of making tight links, it leaves ample room for slippage between statements in natural versus formal language and between statements with theoretical as opposed to empirical content.” (I crossed out the offending clause – Romer’s idea of mathiness is completely independent of data, so I’m not sure why he mentioned it.)

The author is right. If I had it to do over, I’d follow this suggestion.

David Andolfatto also sent a funny tweet, the gist of which was that I’m responding to mathiness with wordiness.