Is Economics a Public Good? How Would We Know?

by Mario Rizzo What is the economic justification for using tax money to subsidize the production of economic research? The standard answer is that academic economists produce a public good. In other words they produce knowledge for which they do not charge and for which it is not feasible to exclude non-payers. Let’s accept this … Continue reading Is Economics a Public Good? How Would We Know?

More Scholarship, Less “Science”

by Mario Rizzo Once upon a time, in a land far away from New York civilization, a famous economist told a good friend of mine that "we" need more scientists and fewer scholars in the economics profession. He was serious. This is the time of year that many Ph.D. dissertations are being defended in graduate departments of economcs. … Continue reading More Scholarship, Less “Science”

The Amazing Brad DeLong

by Mario Rizzo   I don’t know where Brad DeLong acquired his philosophy of economics. DeLong responded to an article by Jean-Claude Trichet, president of the European Central Bank, on “austerity.” The following is part of what the Financial Times edited out of the published version. DeLong posted it on his blog. He says there are two types … Continue reading The Amazing Brad DeLong

The Failure of Macroeconomics

by Mario Rizzo   The current issue of The Economist has a very interesting article on the turmoil among macroeconomists (“The Other-Wordly Philosophers”). Essentially, the article argues that although the dominant macro model, dynamic stochastic general equilibrium theory [DSGE], appears to be in a state of near-total breakdown, there is no agreement among economists as to … Continue reading The Failure of Macroeconomics

What is a “Prominent” Economist?

by Mario Rizzo In a recent article in Time magazine Michael Kinsley implies that no “prominent” economist has come out against economic stimulus as a (partial?) solution to the current mess. My interest here is not whether this true but in what constitutes “prominent.” I know many economists who do not agree with the dominant … Continue reading What is a “Prominent” Economist?