Some quotes




A small collection of nice quotes on economics.

"Quantification clarifies issues which qualitative analysis leaves fuzzy. It is more readily contestable and likely to be contested. It sharpens scholarly discussion, sparks off rival hypotheses, and contributes to the dynamics of the research process. It can only do this if the quantitative evidence and the nature of proxy procedures is described transparently so that the dissenting reader can augment or reject parts of the evidence or introduce alternative hypotheses."

— Angus Maddison (The World Economy - A Millenial Perspective)

"(1) Use mathematics as shorthand language, rather than as an engine of inquiry. (2) Keep to them till you have done. (3) Translate into English. (4) Then illustrate by examples that are important in real life. (5) Burn the mathematics. (6) If you can't succeed in 4, burn 3. This I do often."

— Alfred Marshall on his approach to economic research

"Everything reminds Milton of the money supply. Well, everything reminds me of sex, but I keep it out of the paper."

— Robert Solow on Milton Friedman

"Perhaps I can best describe my experience of doing mathematics in terms of a journey through a dark unexplored mansion. You enter the first room of the mansion and it's completely dark. You stumble around bumping into the furniture, but gradually you learn where each piece of furniture is. Finally after six months or so, you find the light switch, you turn it on, and suddenly it's all illuminated. You can see exactly where you were. Then you move into the next room and spend another six months in the dark. So each of these breakthroughs, while sometimes they're momentary, sometimes over a period of a day or two, they are the culmination of—and couldn't exist without—the many months of stumbling around in the dark that precede them."

— Andrew Wiles (who proved Fermat's Last Theorem)

But remember:

"The bad thing about quotes from the internet is that you never know whether they are attributed correctly."