What makes a great economist?

From John Maynard Keynes’ Essays in Biography: The study of economics does not seem to require any specialized gifts of an unusually high order. Is it not, intellectually regarded, a very easy subject compared with the higher branches of philosophy and pure science? Yet good, or even competent, economists are the rarest of birds. An…

Capitalism only works with trust

Capitalism is imperfect. Yet is it the best system developed to allocate scarce resources across society. However, capitalism only works if people are moral beings. For instance, if you sell a treatment and promised benefits are never realized or–even worse–the treatment is harmful, this is a problem. Typical capitalistic responses to this issue are that:…

Is Economics bogus science?

John Ioannidis has an interesting article in the L.A. Times titled “Economics isn’t a bogus science — we just don’t use it correctly.” Some excerpts are below: Most published studies use limited data. By a conservative estimate, the average study has 18% power to detect a modest association if one exists. Due to this low…

Is Economics a Science?

That is the question addressed by in a paper by Colin Camerer and co-authors in Science. The authors repeated 18 economics experiments conducted in a laboratory setting. These articles were published in leading economics journals including the American Economic Review and the Quarterly Journal of Economics between 2011 and 2014. As The Economist reports, they…

Insider vs. Outsider

A post from Ben Casnocha has some really good insights about the pros and cons of being an insider vs. an outsider. I excerpt a parts of the post below: A striking section of Elizabeth Warren’s memoir is about advice she says Larry Summers once offered her: After dinner, “Larry leaned back in his chair and offered…

Is 2% US GDP the new normal?

In the past, many economists targeted 4% GDP growth as the long-run average.  However, in recent years long-run GDP growth has fallen to about 2% per year.  Is the US economic engine slowing down?  Maybe, not. Growth in a country’s GDP comes from 2 components: growth in GDP per work and growth in the number of…