Morgan Kelly is a hedgehog …..

19 May, 2011

From a review in the Financial Times of Future Babble: Why Expert Predictions Fail and Why We Believe Them Anyway, by Dan Gardner.

Part of the problem, Gardner explains, lies with a lack of accountability within the [economics] profession itself. Make a bold prediction and the journalists and TV cameras come running; no one remembers when it fails to come about. Following Isaiah Berlin’s celebrated distinction, Gardner divides pundits and forecasters into two kinds of beast – the fox who knows many different things, and the hedgehog who knows one big thing. Hedgehogs, he says, have a narrow range of expertise and tend to arrive at bold, bullish predictions. The forecasts of hedgehogs are simpler and more entertaining, so they soak up all the media attention. But they are much more likely to be wrong than foxes. With a wider range of data and disciplines to scavenge from, foxes tend to be more careful with their predictions, and to fare better as a result.

Morgan Kelly: definitely a hedgehog.

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One Response to “Morgan Kelly is a hedgehog …..”


  1. […] 23 May, 2011  À propos my previous post, may I introduce a member of that (seemingly) rare breed, a humble economist.  Unlike our home-grown celebrity versions, I see that Gregory Mankiw, a professor of economics at Harvard, is prepared to admit that he doesn’t have all the answers, or even some of them.  Compare and contrast with (for instance) Morgan Kelly. […]


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