Sunday, June 19, 2011

A Good Keynesian Round-up of links

- Brad DeLong extensively comments on the Krugman post on liquidity preference I provided earlier.

- Paul Krugman shares five favorite books (HT-David Henderson), two by Keynes (the General Theory and Essays in Persuasion). I got Essays in Persuasion a couple months back and have read through a few of the essays. They're great reads, as is to be expected. One of the great things about this book is that they're largely essays which are (of course) trying to persuade policymakers to do certain things. So you really get a picture of Keynes's political savvy, his understanding of the constraints that politicians are dealing with, his insistence on the proper role of politicians in society, and a mature attention to the public choice issues that have been more formally theorized since that time.

- This is Krugman's lecture for the Keynes conference being held at Cambridge in honor of the 75th anniversary of the General Theory. It's a very good summary of the position of what you might call the "new old Keynesians" - not the "New Keynesians" that are essentially neo-Pigovians, but the old Hicksian, neoclassical synthesis Keynesians brought up to modern times - generally the perspective taken on this blog. Now I have a goal for myself, too: to be invited - as a distinguished Keynesian scholar - to present something at Cambridge for the 100th anniversary of the General Theory, 25 years from now. A good thing to shoot for, I think.


  1. It's funny, because Asimov rejected his own idea of psychohistory as absurd, both back when he wrote the first book and in one of the Foundation prequels written later in his life.

    He believed that no matter how good a mathematical model for it, it is impossible to keep up with all the information collection required for any psychohistoric prediction. (The prequels established that only telepathic abilities in Hari Seldon's daughter - a rare miracle - made it possible.)

    I don't think economics is the closest thing to psychohistory. Casuitry and politics comes closer to it, as far as predicting people's actions in advance and providing for it goes. Economics is just post-mortem examination of known human behaviour.

  2. Psychohistory comes in a lot of different flavors; cliodynamics, quantitative pyschology, quantitative sociology, etc.


    What's interesting about the Krugman books article is how nostalgia drive it is. Well, nostalgia is bullshit.

    And this line made me *LOL*:

    "A liberal can do that. A liberal can talk coherently about what the conservative view is because people like me actually do listen. We don’t think it’s right, but we pay enough attention to see what the other person is trying to get at."

    Compare the above to this:

    The guy has been almost completely swallowed by his own asshole.

    "One side of the picture is open-minded and sceptical. We have views that are different, but they’re arrived at through paying attention. The other side has dogmatic views."

    This also made me laugh. What could possibly be more dogmatic than this statement by Krugman?

    And this is a guy that you admire? Really?

  3. I'll add another link to your round-up:

  4. Gary, Gary, Gary, Gary.

    Daniel simply likes Krugman's wonkish analysis and has no interest in his character.

    Given somebody that Daniel may admire a little less, say Bryan Caplan - we could say that Caplan might be far less eccentric than Krugman but is less admired because of not nearly as good analysis? From Daniel's view, of course.

    PS: You sometimes like to play the "shrill" guy on this blog, even though I think your writing style is much better when you play it "cool". Why not do that instead? ;-)

  5. Bryan Caplan writes about more interesting things to me than does Paul Krugman. The same is true of Tyler Cowen.


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