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.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Review in Ireland

A long and detailed review of the book just appeared on the blog,, maintained by Stephen Kinsella at the University of Limerick's Kemmy Business School in Ireland. Since the review contains many excerpts from the book, the review's length is prohibitive for inclusion in this blog. But the opening paragraphs, repeated below, might motivate you to go to the full review on his site:

"This is a collection of interviews commissioned for a journal, Macroeconomic Dynamics. The idea is to gauge the position of the profession by asking the people who invented large swaths of the theory their motivations for doings what they did, when they did it, and how they did it. Readers find eccentric and irascible characters behind some of the major innovations in economic science. I loved this book, and read it cover to cover in a day.

The book purports (pg. xi) to “contain unique insights into the thinking of some of the world’s most important economists, whose work contributed to the evolution of modern economic thought,” and does.

. . . So it’s great that William Barnett, the editor of Macroeconomic Dynamics, and the co-editor of this book, decided to ask these men these questions."


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