Nation of Beancounters

Proof that too much time spent around public policy makes you a bit nutty

Posted in Uncategorized by Navin Kumar on October 11, 2011

The “Economics correspondent” at The Guardian, a left-wing UK paper wonders if the recent Noble Prize is a blow for freemarketeers.

Huh?

This is so wrong, I don’t know where to start.

1. The Noble Prize for Economics, unlike the Peace Prize (Al Gore, anyone?) or, to a lesser degree, the Literature Prize, is not politicized. It goes to people who do good research. And good economics is neither pro- nor anti-free market. It mostly just knowledge about prices, output and employment. This is a silly first point but it seems important to emphasize since this fellow seems to think that who gets the prize is somehow an indicator of the respectability of intervention/non-intervention.

2. Nothing about the work of these two economists for which they’ve received the prize makes them seem like interventionists, not withstanding their general views on intervention (which I don’t think are as “right-wing” as this fellow believes them to be).

3. Nobody expects Jean Dreze – a developmental economist who does a LOT of field work in rural India – to tell them what the impact of rent control in New York will be. So why doe the media keep asking any and every economist about their opinion of Wall Street? You might as well ask a sociologist or historian.

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