Economic Principles: The Masters and Mavericks of Modern Economics


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And at the same time, so much of what can be captured very well in profits has negative externalities, like the pink elephant of economics, positional externalities. Thus, left to its own devices, the pure free market worshipped by the Republicans will amazingly underpay for basic science relative to other things. The inefficiency and lost utility will be off the charts, especially over generations. And we see this.

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And with such poor public information on economics, on externalities, so many people fall for pure free market soundbites when they vote. And this is understandable as people have so little time to learn economics. The result is we spend way less on basic science than we have good smart people who would be willing to work in these areas, if they could get decent, non-brutal, jobs at comfortable middle class wages, or better to attract the top brains to the most important research.

If the government dealt with the externalities commensurately, there would be far more money chasing the talent, and smart people would regularly have the bargaining power to not be brutalized, and to get good, or extraordinarily good, wages in the basic sciences. Regarding the comment: "the pure free market worshipped by the Republicans will amazingly underpay for basic science relative to other things.

And we see this It would seem to me that if the Republican Party was so intent upon reducing funding for basic science research, they should be just as intent upon reducing funding for basic economics research as well. Or, at least, economics research that doesn't conform to Republican-leaning economics. After all, there are plenty of economists working in particular subfields - most notably within micro - that do not easily translate to political punditry, whether left or right-wing. If the Republican Party really has sufficient power to reduce the overall funding for the sciences, why wouldn't it then likewise use that power to reduce the funding for non-right-wing economics subfields?

Heck, the Republican Party should have eliminated funding for every single left-wing economist a long time ago. Because science research requires tons of money while economic research requires almost none, so virtually no money would be saved, and in any case, what liberal economists would the GOP be able to cut funding for? Curious, are you still in high school? Economics research requires "almost no" money?

You think data is cheap? Indeed, the existence of those organizations is one of the key reasons why - as per Noah Smith's post - the career prospects for economists are so strong. Plenty of savings is therefore available. But to do so would require a far more cunning and savvy GOP than we have currently seen. If they were really so capable, why couldn't they just leverage their savviness to simply win the or Presidential election in the first place, rather than wasting its energy to, as Richard Serlin has asserted, simply cut science funding, which doesn't really seem to meet their true goals which I would assume would be to attain political power.

As far as which liberal economists the GOP might possibly cut funding for, the answer is elementary: cut all funding for, say, behavioral economists, as, let's face it, the political implications of most behavioral economists are mostly left-wing for behavioral economics research almost always tends to indicate that people do not behave rationally and therefore cannot be trusted to make welfare-maximizing decisions.

Reduce funding that investigates all market failures - including the 'New Keynesian' School and information economics - as the implications of that research are that free markets may choose suboptimal equilibrium points, such that government interventions may improve overall welfare. In short, reduce spending for the entire 'saltwater economics. As far as whether the modern-day GOP is the Party of Ignorance, well, hey, the Democratic Party hasn't exactly showered itself with glory when it comes to the advancement of knowledge either.

As a direct case in point, do prominent Democrats support a true evidence-based approach to investigate the effects of, say, gas fracking which is almost certainly environmentally friendlier than the coal-mining activity that it replaces? Or the Keystone pipeline which, if not built, let's face it, would merely result in Canada exporting the oil to Asia, where it will still be consumed? Or, perhaps most controversially of all, how about the true empirical effects of race-based affirmative action? To be clear, I believe that both political parties suffer from their own idiosyncratic facets of ignorance.

I simply find the notion that GOP-style free-market ideology would underfund specifically only science research to be unfounded. That does nothing to explain the disparity of career prospects between scientists and economists. Besides, I'll offer another thought experiment.

The Gospel of Consumption

Dohsan, you assert that the difference between science and economics is that science research is costly or at least, costlier than is economics research. So let's explore that idea more closely.


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Plenty of science fields - notably the 'theoretical' fields - involve incur relatively low costs, indeed, arguably, lower than that of most economists. Theoretical chemists who specialize in, say, computational chemistry and cheminformatics just require computing power, which becomes cheaper every day. And naturally we have the entire discipline of mathematics which, at most, requires some computing power, and usually doesn't require even that. Yet last time I checked, their job prospects were nowhere near as promising as that of economists.

Indeed, Noah Smith categorized those pursuits as "lifestyle PhD's": enjoyable, but unemployable. Hey Noah -- have you seen this paper on the importance of which grad school you go to for econ if you want to become a professor?

Adam Smith: Father of Modern Economics

The upshot is that the top "fifteen Ph. Do you need a masters first? Is there a benefit for having a masters before entering a PhD program? I have BA and a JD, am pretty bored with the latter and looking at other options. No, I don't think you need a masters first, though it probably does help. The first econ classes I took in my life were my first-year PhD courses.

Interesting post. I am at the other end of this job discussion, as our group an Analytics group within a Fortune 50 company has hired a couple of Economics Ph. D's recently, and we're looking soon to hire 1 or 2 more. We hire Economists mainly for forecasting sales, etc, so time series analysis is important, but being able to do and learn other things is certainly essential handling Big Data for example.

The job market certainly seems tight from our end, as the number of applications we received for each position has been surprisingly low maybe we're not posting in the right places?

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When it comes to the applicants, all too many fall into one of two disqualifying categories: 1 very mathematical, with not an ounce of common sense, or 2 very policy-oriented, with a weak math ability. It is absolutely essential for people in our positions to both create a good model and translate it into terms non-economists can understand, so people in both of these groups usually disqualify themselves. While many of the Economists we have interviewed fall into one of these 2 categories, the percentage is still lower for Economics than for other fields we hire from.

The economists who do not fall into one of these two groups are very solid additions to our group. I knew economists were out of touch with the reality of how people interact with the economy, but I didn't realize it extended to their own employment existing entirely within a controlled guild system of guaranteed employment. This is just amazing. I knew that Mike could not express his thoughts clearly in writtent English people do not interact with the economy but I didn't realize it extended to writing a single sentence.

Stay in academia if you can. You have no real world social skills. Look, no emoticon. I just read Landsburg's article, and it seemed very obvious to me that it was not sexist.

He was pointing out that we can't judge actions just based on the direct harm, because otherwise having sex with an unconscious woman who never finds out what you did, would be perfectly fine. How is that a sexist argument? That's way beyond sexist, but it is also sexist.

If you then said "if I only steal black people's kidneys who never wake up and find out what I did, it isn't unethical", of course I am a racist as well as a terrible human being. The difference, of course, is that there isn't wide-spread stealing of black people's kidneys without consequence, while there is wide-spread rape of unconscious women Stubenville being only the most egregious recent example. There is one other field that matches the beneficial characteristics of Economics very well: Industrial Engineering.

IE may be a decidely unsexy field, creating a low supply of Ph.

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D students, but the job opportunties are huge. It is virtually impossible to find IE students--they get snatched up so quickly, especially the ones with an OR specialization. I'd bet it's even easier to get a job with an IE background than with Economics, and you have the same flexibility in the Ph. D program as is mentioned about in Economics. One thing before entering an econ Ph.

They are often equivalent to the Econ program at the same school, sometimes colisting courses, and there is much more grant money, and therefore research assistantships, available than in the straight econ programs.

Economic Principles: The Masters and Mavericks of Modern Economics Economic Principles: The Masters and Mavericks of Modern Economics
Economic Principles: The Masters and Mavericks of Modern Economics Economic Principles: The Masters and Mavericks of Modern Economics
Economic Principles: The Masters and Mavericks of Modern Economics Economic Principles: The Masters and Mavericks of Modern Economics
Economic Principles: The Masters and Mavericks of Modern Economics Economic Principles: The Masters and Mavericks of Modern Economics
Economic Principles: The Masters and Mavericks of Modern Economics Economic Principles: The Masters and Mavericks of Modern Economics
Economic Principles: The Masters and Mavericks of Modern Economics Economic Principles: The Masters and Mavericks of Modern Economics

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