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Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Division over the Divide

As I get ready to hit the road for a couple of weeks away from Eugene, here are a few responses to my post yesterday at Reuters:

Paul Krugman: Listening to Others.
Dean Baker responds to Paul Krugman.
More from Dean Baker: There's Zero Accountability in Economics.
Paul Smalera: Krugman says Thoma’s right, except when he’s wrong.
Larry Summers: Economic specialization is a feature, not a bug.
Richard Green responds to Larry Summers.

Brief replies:

I focused on the relationship between academic and other economists, but I should have at least mentioned the sociology within the profession as well. There were a few academic economists who called the housing bubble, but they were dismissed in much the same way as those outside of academia.

I am for specialization, of course, but being overly insular can cause specialists to deviate from the socially optimal set of research questions.

In at least one case it's easy to detect the attitude I was talking about.

When I say we should listen, I also mean that people should think about what they hear and consider the motivations of the person doing the talking, not blindly accept what, say, housing economists are saying.

Update: More from Macroeconomic Resilience.
Update: Jim Hamilton comments.
Update: Peter Martin too.

    Posted by on Wednesday, July 27, 2011 at 05:04 AM in Economics, Methodology | Permalink  Comments (22)


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