Friday, May 30, 2014

It's all about the discontinuities

The other day I posted a suspicion of mine that Giles was very wrong about Piketty based on his treatment of discontinuous data series. I haven't been pouring poring over the excel sheets, so it was just a suspicion, but it was due to a problem that I think anyone who has worked with disparate data sources would immediately recognize.

Howard Reed has gone through the data sources and he agrees that "it's all about the discontinuities", "it" being the critique of Piketty. This is one of the best commentaries on this argument that I've seen yet. He does a great job walking you through the problems in Giles's work. What's more amazing is that Giles seems to recognize the difference between what he did and what Piketty did, but he does not recognize it's significance.

btw - some comments by Phil Magness on Facebook suggest he doesn't get this point either.


  1. I Iike "pouring" over spreadsheets

  2. So all these supposedly non-ideological economists have lined up about this Picketty character roughly the way you would expect them to. Hmmmm...

    1. I don't know... Summers, DeLong, and the left heterodox people are making similar critiques to the Austrians on the theory side, and I don't see where ideology fits in at all to the data discussions.

      Are you paying attention to this debate at all or do you just feel the need to comment?


All anonymous comments will be deleted. Consistent pseudonyms are fine.