The August 3 issue of The Economist notes a phenonemon that had recently caught our eye, as well: The rising number of top-notch economists who are blogging. “The Invisible Hand on the Keyboard” cites Brad DeLong at Berkeley, Gary Becker and Richard Posner’s dual commentary at the University of Chicago, and the blog of Greg Mankiw at Harvard. Outside the ivory towers is Brad Setser of Roubini Global Economics.
The technology that gives us blogging economists also encourages academic and institutional competition with elite universities, the Economist notes, reporting on a new study from the University of Michigan, “Are Elite Universities Losing Their Competitive Edge?” (Abstract here.) The competition is a good thing.
“The faster flow of information and the waning importance of location — which blogs exemplify — have made it easier for economists from any university to have access to the best brains in their field. That anyone with an internet connection can sit in on a virtual lecture from Mr DeLong means that his ideas move freely beyond the boundaries of Berkeley, creating a welfare gain for professors and the public.”
Elsewhere on the blogging front, The Washington Post on Saturday fronted its business section with an article, “Barging Into the Bloggers’ Circle: Web Logs are Fertile New Territory for Introducing Products, Welcome or Not.” Good headline; there’s more detail in the story.
Also, congratulations to solid-head-on-his-shoulders political analyst Michael Barone, who celebrated his first year of blogging on Thursday. Although most politicos know Barone for his contributions to The Almanac of American Politics, his interests extend far beyond electoral politics. For example, right now his blog features posts on the history of slavery and the failures of the Doha round of trade negotiations. Always worth reading.