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Gaston Eyskens Lectures

The Gaston Eyskens series draws from invited lectures given by distinguished economists and delivered at Leuven University, Belgium. Gaston Eyskens (1905-1988) was a renowned Belgian economist, politician, and statesman. The books in this series are co-published with the Leuven University Press.

What Can Economists Know?

The world of economics is a complicated and messy place. Yet modern economic analysis rests on an attempt to represent the world by means of simple mathematical models. To what extent is this possible? How can such a program cope with the fact that economic outcomes are often driven by factors that are notoriously difficult to quantify? Can such mathematical modeling lead us to theories that work?

"I have spent my whole professional life as an international economist thinking and writing about economic geography, without being aware of it," begins Paul Krugman in the readable and anecdotal style that has become a hallmark of his writings. Krugman observes that his own shortcomings in ignoring economic geography have been shared by many professional economists, primarily because of the lack of explanatory models.

This interesting and provocative collection of essays addresses most if not all of the key current policy issues in open economy macroeconomics: the strong dollar, LDC debt problems, and deficit financing.