Books: Inside the Economist's Mind (I.T.E.M.) and Getting It Wrong

This Blog hosts discussion of issues relevant to the book, Inside the Economist's Mind, coedited by Nobel Laureate Paul A. Samuelson and William A. Barnett, published by Wiley/Blackwell, and the newer book by William A. Barnett, Getting It Wrong, published by MIT Press.

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William A. Barnett is Oswald Distinguished Professor of Macroeconomics at the University of Kansas and Director of the Center for Financial Stability in New York City. He was previously Research Economist at the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System in Washington, DC; Stuart Centennial Professor of Economics at the University of Texas at Austin; and Professor of Economics at Washington University in St. Louis. William Barnett has been a leading researcher in macroeconomics and econometrics. He is one of the pioneers in the study of chaos and nonlinearity in socioeconomic contexts, as well as a major figure in the study of the aggregation problem. He is Editor of the Emerald Press monograph series International Symposia in Economic Theory and Econometrics, and Editor of the journal Macroeconomic Dynamics, published by Cambridge University Press. He received his B.S. degree from M.I.T., his M.B.A. from the University of California at Berkeley, and his M.A. and Ph.D. from Carnegie Mellon University. He has published 20 books (as either author or editor) and over 140 articles in professional journals. His research has been published in 7 languages.


The book, Inside the Economist's Mind, is coedited by Paul A. Samuelson and William A. Barnett. Although this Blog is hosted solely by the latter coeditor, the following is the information in the book's front matter about Paul Samuelson:

Paul A. Samuelson was the first American to win the Nobel Prize in Economics. He is Professor Emeritus of Economics and Institute Professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Institute Professor is the highest rank awarded by MIT. His landmark 1947 book, Foundations of Economic Analysis, based upon his Ph.D. dissertation at Harvard University, established him as "the economists' economist" by raising the standards of the entire profession. Paul Samuelson's classic textbook, Economics, first published in 1948, is among the most successful textbooks ever published in the field. The book's 16 editions have sold over four million copies and have been translated into 41 languages. He received his B.A. degree from the University of Chicago and his M.A. and Ph.D. from Harvard University. As one of the profession's most productive scholars for over a half-century, he remains an intellectual force of towering stature.

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Global Warming

In the TCS Daily (Nov. 20, 2006), Arnold Kling quoted Friedman's statement in I.T.E.M. about global warming. I don't agree with what Friedman said on that topic, but of course all references to I.T.E.M. are more than welcome.

Here is the quotation:

  • "Finally, on the ultimate excuse for draconian technocratic controls, the threat of global warming, Friedman was skeptical of climate models. In an interview published in Inside the Economist's Mind, by Paul A. Samuelson and William A. Barnett, Friedman drew a comparison between climate models and the sorts of large macroeconomic models that were discredited three decades ago.

    The one place where you seem to be having that kind of modeling now is in the debate about global warming. And those models seem to be very unreliable and inaccurate. But if you think of physics, they usually have models with only a few equations. In any event, if you have a lot of equations, you ought to be able to draw implications from them that are capable of being understood. You should not present the model and say, now it's up to you to test. I think the person who produces the model has some obligation to state what evidence would contradict it."


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