Arnold Kling  

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1. David Warsh offers a suggestion for the most prestigious female economist.

The answer is probably Carmen Reinhart, of the University of Maryland, when measured by citation counts, the yardstick commonly used to gauge professional fame.

Reminder that you can listen to a recording of Carmen in concert. Recommended. I heard it live and blogged on it. I don't recall seeing Warsh there (he lives in Boston, so no surprise). Nor did I see Robert J. Samuelson, whose op-ed today gets into Reinhart-Rogoff territory without mentioning them.

2. The New York Times asks four economists if the stimulus worked. In case you're interested in arguing from authority, the only genuine macroeconomist in the bunch is Mark Thoma.

My answer would have been "I don't know." This paper explains how I lost my macro religion.

It would appear that the great claim to fame of the stimulus is that it kept state and local governments from having to reduce spending. If you combine that with wage stickiness at the state and local level (that is, if you believe that they would cut jobs rather than cut pay for government workers), then the stimulus saved jobs. From a Recalculation perspective, one might ask whether those are the jobs that you would want to save.

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CATEGORIES: Macroeconomics

COMMENTS (3 to date)
Steve Sailer writes:

I never heard of her.

The only female economist I can recall achieving prominence since Joan Robinson is Deirdre McCloskey, who use to play football for Harvard, which maybe tells you something about women and economics.

Larry writes:

How do they calculate all this? Is a job "saved" if it lasts for a day? a month? a year? indefinitely? If I get a job for 3 months working on a bridge repair, is my job officially "created"?

And on the spending side, do they count only the money that went into people/company pockets each month, or do they count the value of contracts let (with cash flows that run over months/years?)

If they don't count cash flow and jobs on something like a monthly basis, I don't know how you could come to any meaningful impact statements.

If they do the accounting right, and if the stimulus is now at its monthly high-water mark, doesn't that mean that we have no chance of creating or saving millions of jobs, i.e., that the possibly fanciful 600k job number is basically all we're going to get?

Jeremy, Alabama writes:

Larry: Great idea! - the WH should publish "job-days saved or created". Every layoff deferred by a week would be 7 job-days saved.

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