Econo-Bloggers and the Public Good

7 January 2008 at 10:27 am 1 comment

| Peter Klein |

An interesting result from Aaron Schiff’s survey of econo-bloggers (I was a respondent):

There [was] a series of questions asking respondents to rate factors according to their importance as motivations for blogging on a scale of 1 to 5. “Fun or entertainment,” “To raise my profile,” “Contribute to policy/political debates,” “To educate the public or disseminate research.” and “As a way of recording thoughts or ideas” were rated highest, all with a median score of 4. “Contribute to academic debates” had a median of 3, “To get reader feedback from comments” and “To improve writing skills” both scored 2, while “Actual or potential direct income” and “Actual or potential indirect income” both had a median of 1.

Economists’ desire to educate the public and to disseminate research, for the public good, is generally underrated, especially among non-economists. However, the pecuniary motives from blogging may be stronger than Aaron’s analysis suggests; the immediate rewards are few, but raising one’s profile has obvious long-term career benefits (as in the open-source case).

NB: Contrary to common belief, academic bloggers don’t think about blogging 24/7. A few times during the ASSA meeting I’d pull out my laptop during a session, to take notes or to work on my own presentation, and a panelist would ask me afterwards: “Were you blogging about me?”

Entry filed under: - Klein -, Ephemera.

O&M for the High-Time-Preference Reader Why Study the Humanities?

1 Comment Add your own

  • 1. Cliff Grammich  |  8 January 2008 at 4:10 pm

    Off-topic, perhaps, but I loved this line: “In terms of age, the respondents are relatively old, with almost 50% over the age of 40.” I may have missed the part where he explained “relatively old” compared to what. I also didn’t check the age distributions on his spreadsheet. Still, I thought it noteworthy that the median age of econo-bloggers in his sample is apparently close to the median age of the entire U.S. population (36.4 years in 2006), which includes wee folk whom I assume are too young to econo-blog . . .

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Trackback this post  |  Subscribe to the comments via RSS Feed


Nicolai J. Foss | home | posts
Peter G. Klein | home | posts
Richard Langlois | home | posts
Lasse B. Lien | home | posts


Former Guests | posts


Recent Posts



Our Recent Books

Nicolai J. Foss and Peter G. Klein, Organizing Entrepreneurial Judgment: A New Approach to the Firm (Cambridge University Press, 2012).
Peter G. Klein and Micheal E. Sykuta, eds., The Elgar Companion to Transaction Cost Economics (Edward Elgar, 2010).
Peter G. Klein, The Capitalist and the Entrepreneur: Essays on Organizations and Markets (Mises Institute, 2010).
Richard N. Langlois, The Dynamics of Industrial Capitalism: Schumpeter, Chandler, and the New Economy (Routledge, 2007).
Nicolai J. Foss, Strategy, Economic Organization, and the Knowledge Economy: The Coordination of Firms and Resources (Oxford University Press, 2005).
Raghu Garud, Arun Kumaraswamy, and Richard N. Langlois, eds., Managing in the Modular Age: Architectures, Networks and Organizations (Blackwell, 2003).
Nicolai J. Foss and Peter G. Klein, eds., Entrepreneurship and the Firm: Austrian Perspectives on Economic Organization (Elgar, 2002).
Nicolai J. Foss and Volker Mahnke, eds., Competence, Governance, and Entrepreneurship: Advances in Economic Strategy Research (Oxford, 2000).
Nicolai J. Foss and Paul L. Robertson, eds., Resources, Technology, and Strategy: Explorations in the Resource-based Perspective (Routledge, 2000).

%d bloggers like this: