Final Note

American Airlines grounded; economists make Excel mistake

Kai Ryssdal Apr 16, 2013
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Final Note

American Airlines grounded; economists make Excel mistake

Kai Ryssdal Apr 16, 2013
HTML EMBED:
COPY

This final note on the way out this Tuesday. Some odds and ends we didn’t get to elsewhere.

Item one: American Airlines. This was a very rough day for them. They were grounded — not flying a single plane — for about four hours today. A computer glitch in their reservations system, of all places, forced ’em to cancel 400 some odd flights.

Item two: Also not a good day for economists Carmen Reinhart and Ken Rogoff. If you recognize those names, it’s because they wrote a very high-profile paper a couple of years ago showing, they said, that countries with a lot of debt grow really, really slowly. It kind of became the guidebook for government backing government austerity.

Why a bad day for these two? A different paper out today says the Rogoff-Reinhart analysis doesn’t hold up because — and here’s the great part — they missed a column in their Excel spreadsheet.

Economists being economists, there’s a rebuttal coming soon, I’m sure.

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