"Someone forwarded a link to this post, from October 25, 1996, by Paul Krugman in Slate. This is an excellent piece. It's beautifully written and well-argued. I agree with essentially everything in it. It's bold, in that Krugman sticks up for Economic Science in the face of a barrage of criticism from what he thinks are loose-thinking innumerate "economists." He concludes with:
'The literati truly cannot be satisfied unless they get economics back from theI know some nerds too. Bob Lucas: nerd. Mark Gertler: nerd. Nobu Kiyotaki: serious nerd. Ed Prescott: very serious nerd. Mike Woodford: nerd. Neil Wallace: serious nerd. Tom Sargent: incredibly serious nerd nerd. But somewhere between 1996 and 2012, Krugman changed his tune. He stopped being defender-of-the-nerds and went over to the dark side."
nerds. But they can't have it, because we nerds have the better claim.'
What's funny about this is that I'm guessing every modern Krugman fan who read this post thought "wait a minute - that's the Krugman we still love - Williamson nailed it, but what is he talking about with this 'went over to the dark side' stuff?" That first paragraph is just too perfect. That's exactly what I like so much about Krugman today, in 2012.
And then it becomes very obvious - Krugman hasn't changed a bit. He hasn't abandoned economics. He probably has about the same views that he did a decade and a half ago. But because different issues have come up since then (wars and depressions - rather than trade agreements) he writes about different stuff. And Stephen Williamson and others are not on his side of this other stuff anymore.