"There is only one difference between a bad economist and a good one: the bad economist confines himself to the visible effect; the good economist takes into account both the effect that can be seen and those effects that must be foreseen." Frederic Bastiat
El debate tradicional de la política monetaria que debería aplicar la Fed o cualquier Banco Central divide a los economistas entre las reglas y la discrecionalidad (en este foro sabemos, además, que Hayek encabeza una lista de economistas que propusieron otras alternativas). Pero si nos circunscribimos estrictamente al debate tradicional, quienes creemos en las reglas también nos encontramos divididos en diferentes alternativas:1. Inflation targeting, 2. Regla de Taylor, 3. Regla de Friedman, 4. NGDP targeting, 5. Norma de la productividad, 6 Regla de la tasa de interés natural, son algunas de ellas.
Nicolás Cachanosky cuestionó recientemente al NGDP targeting. Junto a Erwin Rosen, nosotros definimos la NRI Rule.
In a recent Quarterly Journal of Austrian Economics article, “The Natural Rate of Interest,” Edwin Rosen and Adrian Ravier explain why. Central banks are likely to be key institutions for the “foreseeable future.” Hence, the end of “government interference with the market in general and its manipulation of the money supply in particular” is “an unrealistic aspiration.” Given this realty, the “objective becomes how best to minimize its [central banking’s] unfortunate negative impact on the economy.” Austrians are uniquely positioned to provide answers that are more likely to ensure suggested rules that address the “two significant weaknesses” all central banks face: “susceptibility to political pressure and inadequate economic knowledge.” Moreover, Austrians best understand the true nature of “sound money” and its “symptoms … full employment and economic stability.” Rosen and Ravier recommend a rule “that follows Wicksell’s monetary equilibrium doctrine.” While they recognize the rule would “not eliminate short term price fluctuations” they believe their proposed rule would lead to results more conducive to “inflation free economic stability” and “sustained growth” which has been missing in the US since the inception of the Fed. Other Austrian or Austrian-influenced economists have already made significant contributions to the discussion. Examples include Nicolás Cachanosky, “NGDP Targeting: Is 5 Percent Too Much?” Alexander William Salter, “Is There a Self-Enforcing Monetary Constitution?” and Alexander William Salter and Thomas Hogan, “A Hiccup in NGDP Targeting: Supply-Side Problems with Demand-Side Policy.” Cochran provides an assessment of some proposed reforms from an Austrian perspective.
As we explicitly state in the title of our paper, our work is not about Machlup’s position on epistemology. Our paper is about Machlup’s intepretation of Mises’s apriorism, which may or may not be the same position than the one Machlup holds. Any criticism aimed at Machlup’s own position misses the target.
The matter of fact is that Rothbard reacts directly and explicitly to Machlup’s interpretation of Mises. There is, then, two of Mises’s students arguing that Mises hold an a priori position, but they differ on how this should be interpreted. We think is fair to put both at the same level of initial plausibility and go back to Mises’s work and see which one of these authors were closer to Mises’s own position (The reasons why we think this history of though exercise is valuable should be clear as we approach the conclusions in the paper.) We focus on Machlup’s paper because it offers a good initial bridge to modern epistemology in Austrian economics (something that we think is needed.) Again, it is not that Machlup’s paper has not received the attention it actually did. And is not Machlup’s own position, but his interpretation of Mises what is the focus of our paper. Little is gained by criticizing Machlup per Machlup.
No one here, not Rothbard, not Machlup, and certainly not us, question the a priori in Mises epistemology. We are not questioning the certainty of the praxeological axiom.
It is to avoid these confusions that in the introduction we say that «[o]ur argument is not that Machlup’s (1955) presentation is at face value a representation of Mises’s position, but that Mises was not an extreme aprioristic thinker and that Machlup’s work offers a bridge between Mises and Lakatos that has been unexplored.»
El Mises Daily reproduce una traducción y adaptación de una de mis notas en EPT. El argumento de fondo es que los cambios institucionales y sus efectos económicos suceden a velocidades distintas, y eso puede generar ilusión económica en los indicadores macro si no se tiene cuidado en la interpretación de los mismos.
Aquí también un post de The Circle Bastiat sobre esta columna que cita un pasaje de la nota en el Mises Daily.