July 2011

Irwin Collier - How Economists Used to Be Made

30 Ways to Be an Economist is INET's grantee interview series - INET grantees talk about how they do their work, and how they came to be doing it. This week: Irwin Collier - How Economists Used to Be Made. Read more

Margaret Levenstein - Financing Innovation or Speculation, the Case of Cleveland

About the Interview

Did you know that around 1920 Cleveland, Ohio, had a technological cutting edge not unlike Silicon Valley today? Probably you didn't, because Cleveland lost its edge during the Great Depression, and its innovation networks were never heard of again. Margaret Levenstein tells the story how, in the late 1920s, local investors who used to fund local inventors started speculating in New York instead, and the innovation networks broke down. This is not a story only about Cleveland, Ohio. This is painstaking research yielding a unique relational database to answer questions about the long-term costs of macroeconomic instability - this is new economic thinking. Read more

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Irwin Collier - How Economists Used to Be Made

About the Interview

Economists aren't born, they're made. Irwin Collier digs into archives to find out how Paul Samuelson and his generation were made. What did they learn, and how did they learn it? While today's graduate schools focus on quantitative methods, Collier says that a background in philosophy, politics, and history is essential to the posing of interesting questions. Without such background, he says, a researcher may be likened to a greyhound who cannot tell the difference between a fake bunny rabbit and a genuine hare. Irwin Collier uncovers the seeds of old economic thinking. Read more

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Victor Shih - The Dangers of Capital Fleeing China

A giant that shrinks when coming closer -- that's what Victor Shih sees when looking at China's three trillion dollars of foreign exchange reserves. Shih is Assistant Professor of Political Science at Northwestern University, and he tells us how China could run out of reserves pretty quickly in the event of a crisis. Click here to watch the video  Read more

Barry Eichengreen - Why Economics Needs History

30 Ways to Be an Economist is INET's grantee interview series - INET grantees talk about how they do their work, and how they came to be doing it. This week: Barry Eichengreen - Why Economics Need History. Read more

Mario Seccareccia - Why Governments Should Run Deficits Now

What do nearly all governments have in common these days? They all are struggling to reduce fiscal deficits. Clearly, they are not listening to the advice from Mario Seccareccia, who says: Fiscal deficits? That's what we should be aiming for. Read more

Bruce Caldwell - Why Economics Needs the History of Thought

30 Ways to Be an Economist is INET's grantee interview series - INET grantees talk about how they do their work, and how they came to be doing it. This week: Bruce Caldwell - Why Economics Needs the History of Thought. Read more

Carl-Ludwig Holtfrerich - What the 19th Century US Can Teach Today's Europe About Sovereign Debt

If the countries in the European periphery defaulted on their debt, the euro as a common currency breaks down. This contention is used as an argument for bailouts and rescue packages, and Carl-Ludwig Holtfrerich says it’s wrong. Click here to watch the video interview  Read more

David Tuckett - How Investors Use Stories to Tame Uncertainty

30 Ways to Be an Economist is INET's grantee interview series - INET grantees talk about how they do their work, and how they came to be doing it. This week: David Tuckett - How Investors Use Stories to Tame Uncertainty Read more

William Rees - The Dangerous Disconnect Between Economics and Ecology

The world economy is depleting the earth’s natural resources, and economists cling to models that make no reference whatsoever to the biophysical basis that underpins the economy. That’s why ecological economics is needed, says William Rees in this INET interview. Read more