Skip to:
  1. Main navigation
  2. Main content
  3. Footer
Economic Commentary

The Importance of Structure in Decisionmaking

A learned early in my career as a business economist that perhaps the worst answer an economist can give to a question is, “I don’t know.” And having spent much of my life in the company of economists, I can honestly say it is a response I’ve not often heard. I am reminded of the remark Paul Samuelson once made about Milton Friedman: “I wish I was as certain about anything as Milton Friedman is about everything.” Perhaps we are, as many believe, a profession that is frequently wrong, though never in doubt.

The views authors express in Economic Commentary are theirs and not necessarily those of the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland or the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System. The series editor is Tasia Hane. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License. This paper and its data are subject to revision; please visit for updates.

Suggested Citation

Jordan, Jerry L. 1992. “The Importance of Structure in Decisionmaking.” Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland, Economic Commentary 11/1/1992.