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 19, 2010

Golden Book

An excellent book review of ITEM appeared in the Journal of Economic Literature in the June 2008, vol 46, no 2, issue on pp. 418-421. It starts as follows:
"We economists have long been inured to the fact that anything touched by Paul Samuelson at once turns to gold. And, unlike the ancient legend, this bit of alchemy is a benefit to us all. As far as I am aware, this book is a new line of enterprise for him, since I do not know of any other collection of interviews that he has overseen. In any event, this book makes for reading that is both interesting and illuminating. In short, it is literally a volume of edited interviews with a well chosen set of leaders in our field, conducted from the mid 1990s onward, and a number of which have previously appeared in the journal Macroeconomic Dynamics."
The review ends as follows:
"I must end as I began—this is a book well worth reading. It has considerable information of substance, valuable insights and just enough gossip to ensure that it is rewarding and enjoyable to the reader."
Between the first and last paragraphs are many insightful comments on the interviews in the book.

Friday, January 08, 2010

Very High Ranked Blog & Bloggers

In their recent article, "Blogometrics," in the Eastern Economic Journal (vol 28, 2010, pp. 1 - 10), Franklin Mixon, Jr. and Kamal Upadhyaya rank economics blogs, bloggers, and academic institutions that host blogs. Instead of going to the complete article, you can go directly to Table 1 and Table 2. The results of that study also have been summarized in the TaxProf blog.

According to the "Blogometrics" rankings, this ITEM blog ranks fourth among all economics blogs (table 2). The study also found that Paul Samuelson ranks fifth for his own scholarly impact and William Barnett fourteenth for his own scholarly impact (table 1). The ranking of the bloggers "was done through the Harzing database of citations to scholarly articles, books, and popular press essays authored by economist bloggers. For this study, economics bloggers are ranked based on citations per year."

In Table 3, the study ranks institutions, based on the impact of blogs that they host. The University of Kansas and MIT ranked as tied for sixth.