Archive for May 19th, 2011

An economist seems to have predicetd the 2008 crisis way back in 1997

May 19, 2011

Mason Gaffney writes this nice paper on the topic. As the queen asked why did economists miss the crisis, we have seen it is not that econs could not see the crisis. It is just that some who saw it were ignored by the dominant minds then.

In this paper, Gaffney brings to light a paper by Fred Foldvary who seemed to have predicted the crisis way back  in 1997. He concludes in the paper:



Which economists/blogs/thinkers do economists prefer?

May 19, 2011

William Davis, Bob Figgins, David Hedengren and Daniel Klein of compile this nice poll of economists by economists.

A sample of 299 U.S. economics professors, presumably random, responded to our survey which asked favorites in the following areas: Economic thinkers (pre-twentieth century, twentieth century now deceased, living age 60 or older, living under age 60), economics journals, and economics blogs.

The sample questionnaire is sent to 1969 economists across 300 econ departments but response is from just 299 econs. This could bias the findings. But one should not expect much changes as answers are mostly in line with what one would expect.

Importantly, the authors also rank the voting preference of economists and calculate their libertarian approach to understand the voting pattern. So say which kind of econs prefer Adam Smith – Democrats or Republicans? Libertarians or paternalistic? This has become very important because of the crisis where economists are accused of supporting political parties’ views.

Results are:


Books that should be read before starting a Ph.D. in economics

May 19, 2011

Ajay Shah points to some books one should read before starting a PHD in economics:

 I thought it’s useful to pick a set of books that touch on the great themes of the world, often going into troublesome terrain that the models aren’t very good at, so as to lay a foundation of background knowledge and historical knowledge which can pave the way to usefully assimilating what’s taught in the economics Ph.D. Of course, they should be books that are fun to read and un-putdownable.

Here’s my suggested compact checklist of books worth reading. Please do suggest books, and disagree with this list, in the comments to this post.


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