June 2011

Disdain or paranoia for historians of economics?

The organizers of Duke's Summer Institute on the history of economics were so worried that students might be embarrassed to ask their supervisors for a letter of recommendation, or that the supervisors would say it's a waste of time to study history, so they took a last minute decision to cancel the need for a letter of recommendation. Despite the fact that they offer student stipends of $2,000 and that it is taught by top class academics. In Realpolitik and economic terms, the need for a letter of recommendation is of course a barrier to entry, so maybe it was not an optimal screening mechanism to begin with, but it seems - to me - a little paranoid. Read more

A Cold Case

Shocks

The financial and economic crises started by the fall of Lehman Borthers came as a big shock, a financial shock, an economic shock, a psychological shock, and a political shock among others. From the start, a major question has been whether economists could have and should have foreseen this shock. Read more