One of the graduate students at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst who found critical errors in a famous pro-austerity economic paper explained his findings to CNN.
In video uploaded to YouTube on Sunday, Thomas Herndon said “it didn’t take me long to locate the error” once he obtained the data used in the study. Herndon and his colleagues had failed to replicate the study’s results before requesting the data.
The study by Harvard economists Carmen Reinhart and Kenneth Rogoff was often cited by conservatives to warn about the dangers of a large debt and call for deep budget cuts.
“I do think that the study certainly made a contribution to the policy discussion. It might be a little overreaching to say that that was the only study they were basing their decisions on, but it was certainly probably the most well-known and widely cited study in support of these policies.”
Herndon noted that Reinhard and Rogoff had issued a public response to their critique, but said the two economists had not personally contacted them. He seemed surprised to have gained international attention and fame for his work.
“I never thought for a moment that the world would be so interested in my econometrics replication paper,” he remarked.
Watch video, uploaded to YouTube, below: