Econ Superblogs

5 August 2006 at 10:52 pm 3 comments

| Peter Klein |

These econ blogs get mentioned by The Economist in “The Invisible Hand on the Keyboard”: DeLong, Becker-Posner, Mankiw, and Setser. (According to Technorati, the top five econ blogs are Beppe Grillo, Crooked Timber, Marginal Revolution, The Long Tail, and Professor Bainbridge.)

Why do economists blog? Mostly for fun, and also to increase one’s professional influence, say The Economist’s celebrity bloggers. Here at O&M, we do it to make the world a better place. Really.

Update: Crooked Timber’s John Quiggin has a chapter (not available online, unfortunately) on economics blogs in a new book, Uses of Blogs.

Update 2: Brad DeLong explains econ blogging in the Chronicle of Higher Education. (See also his comment below.)

Entry filed under: - Klein -, Ephemera.

Mises University Technological Development and the Boundaries of the Firm

3 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Brad DeLong  |  6 August 2006 at 12:15 am

    My, my. I think you can tell a lot about the _Economist_ from its article–and a lot about you from your comment. But I don’t think you learn very much about me, or Greg Mankiw, or Richard Posner, or Gary Becker from either.

    Here’s my email to Alan Rappaport of the _Economist_, who wrote the article:

    Subject: Re: economics blogs
    Date: July 12, 2006 12:17:18 PM PDT

    Reasons why we devote so much time and energy to the task [of weblogging]:

    * It’s an absolutely excellent procrastination tool!

    * Any legitimate economist who has worked in government has left swearing that they are going to do everything they can to raise the level of the debate, and to communicate with a mass rather than merely a narrow elite academic ivory tower audience. This is true of the right as well as the left (i.e., Greg Mankiw; Andrew Samwick). Weblogging is a promising way to do this.

    * A play in the intellectual influence game. got… typepad is down right now, but if I recall correctly there are about 20,000 pageviews a day.

    * A hope that it will someday prove a useful teaching tool.

    * A way of expanding the number of people I “talk” to each day by adding a virtual “hallway” to the actual hallway outside of Evans 601 . I peer out my door and look left, and I have Barry Eichengreen, Chad Jones, Roger Craine, the graduate students in the lounge, Emmanuel Saez, Gerard Roland, and David Card. I peer out my door and look right, and I have Chang-Tai Hsieh, Maury Obstfeld, Pierre-Olivier Gourinchas, Marty Olney, George Akerlof, David Romer, and Christie Romer. They are all great. They are all wonderful. But my virtual hallway now includes a whole bunch of others who I find myself “talking” to as much as to the people in the neighboring offices: Jason Furman, Greg Mankiw, Tyler Cowen, Alex Tabarrok, Dan Drezner, Paul Krugman (if you sign up for Times Select), Josh Micah Marshall, Mark Thoma, the gang at Crooked Timber, my old professor Jeff Weintraub, Max Sawicky and Dean Baker, Brad Setser, Michael Froomkin, Daniel Froomkin, Bill Niskanen, Andrew Samwick–my total hallway, real plus virtual, is now larger than it has ever been. It’s a wonderful Invisible College to add to the Visible College that is my slice of Berkeley’s Economics Department, the southwest corner of the sixth floor of Evans Hall.

    * Our belief is that we will all become smarter and more *usefully* productive and happier and more productive and impress our deans. I think that the first three of these are clearly true. The fourth and fifth… the jury is still out.


    Brad DeLong

  • 2. movementarian  |  6 August 2006 at 2:28 am

    Oddly enough, when you type in “economics blog” or “economic blog” into Google, none of those blogs listed in either list is near the top.

    Numero uno:

  • 3. Peter Klein  |  6 August 2006 at 1:23 pm

    Thanks to Brad for sharing his letter to the editor. I imiagine all academic bloggers have the objectives, more or less. (I’d add that I think blogging is already a useful teaching tool, in terms of communicating information to current, former, and potential students.)

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