Tuesday, January 20, 2015

9 Things

You’re being trained as an economist in the neo-classical tradition: a little bit in principles, and much more so in this class. That’s not just because of the higher level, but also because the neo-classical paradigm has been the predominant force in overturning Keynesian macro over the last 45 years.

Anyway, Matt Yglesias wrote an article for Vox* entitled “9 Things Only Neoclassical Economists Will Understand”. There’s not much to it, just more of a list, with one-liners.

The thing is, for your purposes, several of those come up in this class each year. Noah Smith, an assistant professor at Stony Brook, has written a follow-up for Bloomberg View entitled “9 Economics Mysteries Explained” (he also blogs at Noahpinion).

Read them both as a way to start getting conversant in what economics students do at higher levels.

* Yglesias is a public intellectual — not an academic, not really a journalist, but someone who writes a lot of highbrow stuff. I guess I’d describe Yglesias him as a liberal who isn’t afraid to criticize the Democrats, or admit the Republicans are right sometimes. Vox is a site that’s kind of half-way between blog and legacy media magazine: big ideas, big name authors, long articles. 

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