Monday, September 12, 2005

I Like Victor Fuchs

According to one definition, an economist is "a person who sees something that works in practice and wonders if it will work in theory." My view is somewhat different. Once a problem or a puzzle engages my attention, I may use economic theory as a starting point, but then usually move rapidly to an examination of data through statistical analysis and through observation and reflection on the behavior of individuals and institutions. Economic theory helps to frame the questions and to identify the variables that are likely to be of interest; useful answers to the questions only emerge, if at all, from a close study of the particular phenomenon.
--Victor Fuchs, "The Health Economy," pg. 1-2.

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