Thursday, June 01, 2006

Rolling On About Blogs

Even though Dean Baker and I are both “liberal Democrats” (he more than I, I think, or at least he’s more loyal), I seem to disagree with him more often than I agree with him. Nonetheless, I am quite impressed with his blog. I’m something of an academic snob when it comes to economics blogs: that is, I’m hesitant to “waste my time” on any blog that isn’t written by someone with the title “Professor”. (For example, you’d have a hell of a time getting me to read my own blog – at least until I realized how smart the author is:) However, I find that Dean Baker makes up in provocative thought for what he lacks either in academic credentials or in agreeing with me.

Other non-academic blogs that I like: Economics Unbound (Michael Mandel of Business Week), Brad Setser (international finance; not an easy read, but he clearly knows his stuff better than most), Battlepanda (Angelica Oung, though lately she seems to be leaving it mostly to her co-bloggers). That last one is kind of an outlier in my blog space: as far as I know, Angelica doesn’t even have an advanced degree, much less an academic appointment, but I like her writing, and her perspective seems unique. (I could say that Angelica is my link into the lefty/feminist/youth blogosphere, but she seems rather to the right among the lefties.)

Now that I’ve mentioned the non-academics, I should be true to my snobbery and give the prominent final position to the academics. Brad DeLong and Greg Mankiw are the acknowledged kings, and they provide a nice political counterpoint to each other. Also excellent are Econbrowser (James Hamilton, the energy macroeconomics and time series analysis expert, with Menzie Chinn, who writes mostly about international finance issues), Economist’s View (Mark Thoma, University of Oregon, leaning left but more faithful to economic analysis than many on the left), macroblog (David Altig of the Cleveland Fed and the University of Chicago), and EconLog (Arnold Kling and Bryan Caplan, who lean right/libertarian). [A few others that I have to mention: William Polley (academic; interesting but not prolific); New Economist (academic?? I don’t know, but many of the posts certainly are); Angry Bear (distinctly left-leaning and often more about politics than economics; academic?? Again I don’t know). As for Marginal Revolution (Tyler Cowen and Alex Tabarrok), being a macro guy, I seldom read it, but everyone else seems to.]

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28 Comments:

Anonymous mvpy said...

Well, I love your blog knzn! You write really well for an economist; its a pity, though, youre Keynesian one, and I disagree with you on almost everything. For an econ student like me, its nice, though, to see how Keynesians like you think and analyse things.
If only you'd reveal your identity, too; you really have me thinking, you know. We're occasionally treated to little insights into your flashy life; those trips to LA and all. But there too few to discern anything substantive. Itd help people categorize your own blog to boot. Im beginning to think you're not a person at all. A spirit maybe? Who knows?

"I seem to disagree with him more often than I agree with him."

Well, I sure hope so. Have you seen his new book, its s-c-a-r-y stuff. He his misgivings about property rights for R and D. Oh my.


"Brad DeLong and Greg Mankiw are the acknowledged kings"

Well, knzn, I think its unfair to elevate DeLong to ManQs level. As for academic reputation, theres really no comparison. DeLong is no king; he's a little midget.
Also, ManQ is truly a gentleman; DeLongs blog is very unseemly. No comparison, really.

One of my favorite blogs is Cafe Hayek. Gary Beckers blog is truly outstanding. Wonderful from a theory perspective. Hes not encumbered with any Keynesian afflictions. Its pure theory; plain and simple.

Also, I must say, the best blog of all is Donald Luskins "Poor and Stupid". Go look at it knzn; www.poorandstupid.com. Hes the leader of the famed Krugman Truth Squad.

Thu Jun 01, 06:24:00 PM EDT  
Blogger knzn said...

Trivia: DeLong once deleted part of one of my comments (and inserted his own bracketed editorials) because I was defending something Luskin said. (Although, in general, I haven’t found Luskin very impressive. Defending him was more a sense of fighting for the underdog.)

Mankiw is certainly more polite than DeLong and of greater academic stature. But Mankiw is in the process of finding his place in the blogosphere, whereas DeLong’s blog is well-established and top-ranked on objective measures of success. Of course, that kind of success may reflect the preferences of people whose opinions one shouldn’t necessarily respect, but I also personally find DeLong to be one of the smartest of the bloggers (if not the most open-minded). (In both cases I’m probably somewhat prejudiced because I was a graduate student at Harvard when both Mankiw and DeLong were on the faculty.)

Becker & Posner are actually very good, and I should have mentioned them. I guess I developed a prejudice against them because they deleted my comment the one time I made one. Some day I may open my mind to the Austrians as well.

Fri Jun 02, 10:25:00 AM EDT  
Anonymous mvpy said...

"DeLong once deleted part of one of my comments (and inserted his own bracketed editorials) because I was defending something Luskin said."

DeLong has always deleted anything I put there. That really was the epiphany for me; frankly, I found that a pretty dreadful reflection on an academic. Esp one who claims to be "fair and balanced"

I find Luskin hilarious since hes got no degree at all; and I love the sheer boldness with which he takes he takes Krugman, the future Nobel Laureate, on.


"because I was a graduate student at Harvard when both Mankiw and DeLong were on the faculty."

Well, Im objective too; DeLong is one of my professors. He's very smart all right, but, like Krugman, I think, he's his own worst enemy. Really, I used to visit his page a lot for econ reasons, but now, what with all the head banging and impeaching, Im completely turned off. And its not politics; its just a lack of serious objective analysis.

"they deleted my comment the one time I made one."
Im very surprised by that, to be honest.

"DeLong’s blog is well-established and top-ranked on objective measures of success.:

Habit persistence, knzn. I think much of his audience goes to him cos he gives them what they wanna hear. They all seem to love Mankiw bashing over there. I think DeLong loves reading Mankiw-Bashing too. I dont know why hes got such a chip on his shoulder re Mankiw. He claims Mankiw gave "bad advice", but then he'd say in another posting that Bush never takes professional advice, in any case. So, I dont get it.

Fri Jun 02, 11:02:00 AM EDT  
Blogger knzn said...

I don’t remember reading DeLong say that Mankiw gave “bad advice.” Mostly he seems to think Mankiw would have given fairly good advice but didn’t fight hard enough to make it heard.

Sat Jun 03, 12:13:00 PM EDT  
Anonymous Battlepanda said...

Thanks for putting the little ol' Battlepanda blog among such auguste company. It's funny that I'm reading Mankiw's blog now, because I used his textbook in my intro to Econ class at Amherst, which was my only formal instruction in Economics.

I didn't know you have your own blog, Knzn. But I always enjoy your comments whether I agree with them or not over at Battlepanda and I'll be sure to check back frequently.

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