It's About the EconomY, Not EconomISTS

by: Casey Mulligan

Like me, you may have noticed that a significant amount of "economics" commentary has little to do with the economy (how people on earth manage its scarce resources), and much more about economists (the small group of people dedicated to studying how people on earth manage its scarce resources).

Reading that commentary, you can learn who among the economists are "foolish", "crazy", and perhaps even which of them qualifies as the "stupidest man alive."

I have nothing public to say about that subject, because I have no expertise in judging the thought processes of particular individuals (or thought processes more generally). I took dozens of courses, and have published dozens of articles, about various aspects of the economY, but never encountered a course that would even introduce me to the subject of economISTS and their individual thought processes.

It is true that I regularly interact with a special group of economists -- serve on committees with them, or attempt to convince a couple of them to publish one of my papers -- and that presents opportunities to opine on individual thought processes. But that is invariably an amateur affair, and I (and they) have found that results are better the more I stick to putting forward my best analysis of the economY.

For these reasons, I must disappoint those readers of this blog who would like to me enter the market for commentary about economISTS. I will stick with the economY, in rough proportion to the size of the various sectors (as such, economISTS are entitled to approximately 1/2000th of my attention).