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Economics Gone Right: Some Fairly-Recent Must- and Should-Reads

stacks and stacks of books

  • Cosma Shalizi (2012): In Soviet Union, Optimization Problem Solves You: "There’s lots to say about Red Plenty as a work of literature; I won’t do so.... Both neo-classical and Austrian economists make a fetish (in several senses) of markets and market prices. That this is crazy is reflected in the fact that even under capitalism, immense areas of the economy are not coordinated through the market..

  • The extremely wise Randall Munroe on the proper visual display of geographic quantitative information: Randall Munroe: xkcd: 2016 Election Map: "I like the idea of cartograms (distorted population maps), but I feel like in practice they often end up being the worst of both worlds—not great for showing geography OR counting people. And on top of that, they have all the problems of a chloro... chorophl... chloropet... map with areas colored in...

  • Kevin O'Rourke (2013): Why economics needs economic history: "In a recent Humanitas Lecture in Oxford, Stan Fischer said that 'I think I’ve learned as much from studying the history of central banking as I have from knowing the theory of central banking and I advise all of you who want to be central bankers to read the history books'...

  • I would say: "policy was fantastic between Lehman and the trough, grossly subpar after the trough, and —if you believe the Fed—criminally negligent before Lehman": Niccola Gennaioli and Andrei Shleifer: A Crisis of Beliefs: Investor Psychology and Financial Fragility: "Instability from Beliefs...

  • The key to a well-functioning society is feedback: the market economy is truly excellent at feedback—at identifying what is going wrong to the people who can take action to correct it: Cosma Shalizi (2012): In Soviet Union, Optimization Problem Solves You: "There’s lots to say about Red Plenty as a work of literature; I won’t do so.... The first of the two political problems. The objective function in the plan is an expression of values or preferences, and people have different preferences. How are these to be reconciled?...

  • I am swinging toward thinking that disequilibrium foundations of equilibrium economics is the only useful macro theory standing: Seppo Honkapohja and Kaushik Mitra: Price Level Targeting with Evolving Credibility: "We examine global dynamics under learning in a nonlinear New Keynesian model when monetary policy uses price-level targeting and compare it to inflation targeting...

  • Hoisted from teh Archives: James Scott and Friedrich Hayek

  • A brilliant 10 minute talk on economics as it really is—or should be: Trevon Logan: Ohio State University Masterminds: "Think of the first questions you ask someone when you meet them: 'What do you do?'...

  • Paul Krugman (2013): Macrofoundations: "Macro is the only reason anyone listens to all those microeconomists who think they’re being rigorous...

  • Paul Krugman: Uses and Abuses of Economic Formalism: "Gruen... really, really doesn’t like the formalization of economies of scale and imperfect competition in trade that went along with the rise of the 'new trade theory'...

  • An enormous amount that I think is right here. And I bunch I think is wrong. And now I have laid down a marker that I have to write down what I think is wrong here, which I will... someday... in my copious spare time But what is right: Miles Kimball: On Teaching and Learning Macroeconomics: "Many... important ideas are missing from most macroeconomic textbooks.... Here are some... I consider so important that I teach them in class

  • From the University of Oregon, Mark Thoma's Economists' View continues to be the single best link aggregator in economic policy and theoretical economics: read him...

  • If you do not make the Economic Policy Institute one of your trusted information intermediaries, you are doing it wrong. Badly wrong.

  • Noah Smith: Supply and Demand Does a Poor Job of Explaining Depressed Wages: "The standard framework that economists traditionally used to understand job markets is just supply and demand...

  • Kevin Bryan: The 2018 John Bates Clark: Parag Pathak: "Consider the old 'Boston mechanism'.... Everyone would be allocated their first choice if possible...

  • An interesting example of non-representative firm macro: Ernesto Pasten, Raphael Schoenle, and Michael Weber: Price rigidities and the granular origins of aggregate fluctuations: "We study the aggregate implications of sectoral shocks in a multi-sector New Keynesian model...

  • Lane Kenworthy: Soci 109: Analysis of Sociological Data (2015): "This course introduces you to techniques and software for analyzing quantitative social science data...

  • Drew Conway (2013): The Data Science Venn Diagram: "The primary colors of data: hacking skills, math and stats knowledge, and substantive expertise...

  • Robert Waldmann: A Comment on the Return of “It’s Baaaack”: "Twenty years ago, Paul Krugman warned that the liquidity trap was not just an issue in the economic history of the 30s...

  • Tim Taylor: Some Thoughts About Economic Exposition in Math and Words: "[Paul Romer's] notion that math is 'both more precise and more opaque' than words is an insight worth keeping...

  • Paul Krugman: It’s Baaack, Twenty Years Later: "In early 1998 I set out to reassure myself... to show that if Japan was having troubles, it was simply because the Bank of Japan wasn’t trying hard enough...

  • Mark Thoma: Economist's View: Links for 02-19-18


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