An Economics With Verbs, Not Just Nouns

But that said, algorithms still involve reducing the real world to mathematical equations and still require specifying a set of assumptions. It's not obvious that algorithms do a better job of looking inside the "black box" of how production happens, or how it evolves to higher productivity and output, than conventional economic methods. 

Thus, by the end of the essay, Arthur seems to be backpedaling from grand claims. He writes: "As a means of understanding, algorithmic expression need not replace equation-based expression in economics, but can take its place alongside it as a parallel language." He says: "I do not believe algorithmic expression is a panacea in economics. It can include heterogenous agents with “non-rational” behavior that is context dependent, detailed and therefore more realistic. But it does not easily capture the `humanness' of economic life, its emotionality, its intuitive nature, its personages,

its very style. For this we would need other means." What starts off sounding like a frontal assault on the methods of economics ends up as a quiet plea for openness to an expanded set of mathematical tools. 

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