“The During” – What Economists Can Learn From Facebook

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From Slate today:

As any undergraduate student of economics knows, both microeconomists and macroeconomists tend to describe change in the same way that an advertisement for dishwashing detergent does: “before” and “after.” When oil cost $20 a barrel, the economy looked like this; now that oil costs $100 a barrel, the economy looks like that. Quite how the process of change occurred—or how quickly—is a problem glossed over in the textbooks and most journals.

That is worrying. Perhaps it does not even make sense to compare two static “before” and “after” states; perhaps “during” is everything.

Full story here.

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