The Dismal Admission

Andrew Ferguson found something nice to say about economists, or a least a few at the OECD and that’s that “they may not be very good at what they do, but they’re not afraid to admit it.”

Here’s more:

Last month they released a report, “OECD Forecasts During & After the Financial Crisis: A Post-Mortem.” It is not beach reading, unless you’re the sort of person who works for the OECD or The Weekly Standard. The report’s watery tone and obscure nomenclature are common to the literature of professional economists—and are indispensable when it comes time to hide an unflattering conclusion from the prying eyes of laymen. The unflattering conclusion here, though, is straightforward, if understated. The OECD economists looked at their own work forecasting the direction of the world economy over the last several years and admitted: “GDP growth was overestimated on average across 2007-12, reflecting not only errors at the height of the financial crisis but also errors in the subsequent recovery.”


They keep using that word. I do not think it means what they think it means.