Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Economic Theory

Megan McCardle is trying to spark an interesting discussion on economic theory in light of the financial crisis. I added my 2 cents to the comments, which are:
If followed, the right theory will never come in contact with the enemy, because it will tell policy makers how to avoid such contact. Milton Friedman's theory on monetary policy took hold in the 80's and have been the basis of world monetary policy ever since. No one is discarding Milton Friedman's monetary policy theories because of this crisis. In fact, all policy makers are building their bailout policies in accordance with that theory because of its strength. So, if his theories are so sound, why did the theory come in contact with the enemy? Because his theories on government fiscal policy have been ignored for 70+ years, and to be fair his theories on government fiscal policies while strong are more ideological rather than based upon a theoretical framework. Economists need to provide a strong theoretical framework which shows that Milton Friedman's views on government fiscal policy are theoretically just as strong as his theories on monetary policy.