The Rogoff-Reinhart data scandal reminds us economists aren’t gods

Economics is an inexact science, as any honest economist will tell you. It is based on unreliable numbers that measure relatively small swaths of the population. Whatever the number – unemployment, inflation, wages – it is almost always wrong the first time the government publishes them, and then it is revised later: once, twice, three times or more. The errors are usually large.

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