Home > Uncategorized > The Ricardian Vice (I)

The Ricardian Vice (I)

from Lars Syll

77645Ricardo’s … interest was in the clear-cut result of direct, practical significance. In order to get this he cut that general system to pieces, bundled up as large parts of it as possible, and put them in cold storage — so that as many things as possible should be frozen and ‘given.’ He then piled one simplifying assumption upon another until, having really settled everything by theses assumptions, he was left with only a few aggregative variables between which, he set up simple one-way relations so that, in the end, the desire results emerged almost as tautologies … It is an excellent theory that can never be refuted and lacks nothing save sense. The habit of applying results of this character to the solution of practical problems we shall call the Ricardian Vice.

Sounds familiar, doesn’t it?

Only difference is that today it’s seen as a virtue rather than a vice …

  1. May 4, 2017 at 8:05 pm

    Inferring from the picture, that’s something that Schumpeter said about Ricardo in that book?

  2. May 30, 2017 at 3:10 am

    I have posted on May 11, 2017 the following comment on Maria Alajandra Madi’s post “Realism in Economics” April 17, 2017 WEA Pedagogy Blog.

    I believe my comment applies to Lars Syll’s two posts on Ricardian Vice: one on May 2 (a citation from Schumpeter) and the other on May 3 (a citation from Keynes).

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