Rebuttals of an Academic Nature – Economic Growth and Public Debt

Often when talking to people about rbutr they make the comment that it would be incredibly useful to have rebuttals easily locatable in the academic research realm. That academics and students would find it incredibly useful to help them find counter-arguments to papers they are reading.

We have always agreed with this analysis and looked forward to when we could get more academic content in rbutr, despite the small problem of the ‘Paywall’ situation which prevents most people from accessing journal articles. The only reason we haven’t got more academic peer reviewed rebuttals in rbutr so far, is simply because we haven’t got many people adding them. We haven’t put a lot of effort in to finding professors and students who could know where to find those sorts of rebuttals, and we haven’t had many join us through our publisicty so far. For that matter, I’m not completely sure how we would go about reaching this audience…

I am sure it will happen over time anyway, as plenty of students and professors are hearing about rbutr through other channels, and any of them have the opportunity to add academic rebuttals to our system any time they find them.

All this said, we do have a few rebuttals added already which link to research papers. That is, it is usually a blog or newspaper article making a claim, and someone has linked that claim to a study which contradicts it. Which is a great use of research for rbutr, but not exactly what I am talking about here. What I am talking about is rebuttals between academic articles. Where some peer reviewed research is done, and other peer reviewed research contradicts it.

I bring this all up now because a very famous bit of research is going through this right now, and a huge international debate has sprung up because of it:

rbutr – A rebuttal of Growth in a Time of Debt

A paper which studied how public debt affected economic growth, from 2010 and which has been used repeatedly by politicians to push their own agendas, has been rebutted by recent research which found an error in their workings.

This has caused all sorts of debate online, though the original paper authors have already responded and admitted their small error, but countered the accusations of other errors and cherry picking data. (all of these responses have been added to rbutr too).

This is the sort of academic debate which happens all the time, which rbutr could be very useful for tracking. And I hope to see more examples of it being submitted over the coming weeks, months and years…

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