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Reinhart-Rogoff Tipping Point: Zombie Excel Programming Math Error

April 19, 2013

In February, Paul Krugman wasn’t quite ready to declare Reinhart-Rogoff a zombie idea. But it has been killed now, (it was a excel spreadsheet formula error). So if the 90% debt argument pops up again, then it’s a zombie argument. It’s been definitively disproven. See Krugman: “The Excel Depression“:

Did a coding error basically destroy the economies of the Western world? You be the judge.

zombie reinhart-rogoff paul krugman nytimes

Recall also “Drunk Nate Silver and Zombie Math” and be sure to double check your excel formula. Drunk math is hard.

Meanwhile, academic zombie Dan Drezner who tweets that Krugman’s article is proof of “the role that ideas play in the global political economy”. But it seems that this is evidence that ideas will latch on to anything they can use and only transparency of original data source files can hurt zombie ideas.


From → Academics, economics

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