05/14/2013 02:35 pm ET Updated Jul 14, 2013

Paul Krugman: Research Fail Made 'Prominent People Look Foolish'

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In normal times, an arithmetic mistake in an economics paper would be a complete nonevent as far as the wider world was concerned. But in April 2013, the discovery of such a mistake--actually, a coding error in a spreadsheet, coupled with several other flaws in the analysis--not only became the talk of the economics profession, but made headlines. Looking back, we might even conclude that it changed the course of policy.

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