A skyrocketing economics blog

13 June, 2015 at 13:07 | Posted in Economics | 3 Comments

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Tired of the idea of an infallible mainstream neoclassical economics and its perpetuation of spoon-fed orthodoxy, yours truly launched this blog four years ago. The number of visitors has increased steadily, and with now almost 150 000 page views per month I have to admit of still being — given the rather wonkish character of the blog, with posts mostly on economic theory, statistics, econometrics, theory of science and methodology — rather gobsmacked that so many are interested and take their time to read the often rather geeky stuff posted here.

In the 21st century the blogosphere has without any doubts become one of the greatest channels for dispersing new knowledge and information. images-4As a blogger I can specia-lize in those particular topics an economist and critical realist professor of social science happens to have both deep knowledge of and interest in. That, of course, also means — in the modern long tail world — being able to target a segment of readers with much narrower and specialized interests than newspapers and magazines as a rule could aim for — and still attract quite a lot of readers.

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  1. Well Lars, economics, for good or ill, really has been “the imperial science” (I think title of an Edward Lazear paper in the early ’00s) of the past decades, so a great deal of what you criticize will be relevant to people in other fields.

    Take your recent posts on randomization as the new “golden rule” for determining causality. (Obsession with direction of causality in some ways a barbarous relic, but that’s another topic.) As we speak, political scientists are trying to determine the sources of economic growth by buying blasted, impoverished villages in West Africa in order to randomly assign its inhabitants to variants of the “divide-the-dollar” game. The results, they believe or at least argue to grant-making bodies, will yield insights into the kind of “institutions” that are best suited to fostering growth. This is transparently ludicrous, but such an objection is often shouted down (as were those against “representative-agent” microfoundations) by seemingly highly-technical arguments whose import is There Is No Alternative.
    So, “an economist and critical realist professor of social science happens to have both deep knowledge of and interest in” these questions is invaluable for a lot of people who might, in the central solitude of their own departments, feel rather isolated. In this way I think blogs do weaken the preferred weapon of all mainstreams and orthodoxies, which is simply to not mention, ever, such heretics as have good points to make.

    Anyway, congrats on the page views. (And I hope perhaps one or two came among the from polisci’ers I’ve spammed over the past few months with posts from your blog.)

  2. Congratulations on the growing readership. I think that your blog presents ideas that many of us don’t dare to speak of, or don’t know how to express in such an articulate manner. Keep them coming, I really enjoy reading your posts. They are really challenging and eye opening.

  3. Congrats and Thank you for writing this blog!


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