I love you karl.

]]>Is it any wonder that regular folk like me have no use for economists? The fewest points you must win to emerge victorious from a tennis match is 48: four points per game, 6 games per set, two sets. Forty-eight points, not one. I swear, you people are worse than useless — you interfere with the truth.

As for economic theory and notation I have no opinion (or clue).

]]>Would save a lot of effort

]]>But I had my notation and assumptions for my assortative matching and search paper in 1994. I struggled for another two years and 2000 hours on it, never knowing if I could solve for existence (MasCollel once conjectured to me I would not) for two more years. That struggle resulted in no new assumptions, just a slow journey through a dark and lonely logical world of math. The struggle did, however, guarantee that I was going to lose my MIT job, so it was one associated with fear.

I often find myself in similar struggles, but now with the wisdom of age, I would not venture again down such a dark road, nor do so by myself. But my coauthors Axel Anderson, Jussi Keppo, Peter Sorensen, and Giuseppe Moscarini so far can attest to more than year long struggles to prove a theorem — sometimes much more.

Bottom line: I wish it was just about crafting the model and assumptions, with the target theorem in mind, because I actually think I’m occasionally good at that stuff. But theory is not like empirical work, and the struggle can actually be so hard that it defeats a valid conjecture formulated with the right notation and assumptions.

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