Arnold Kling  

Outsider Academic Journals

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Bruce Charlton no longer edits one. While he was editor, he published Robin Hanson's classic article on what we now call Hansonian medicine.

Daniel Klein still edits one, and the latest issue features an article challenging Bryan Caplan's view that education improves economic enlightenment.

Hanson, Klein, and Caplan are all Masonomists. Charlton is an honorary Masonomist.


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COMMENTS (9 to date)
Fenn writes:

I was surprised no one in the Mason fold linked to or had any comment on Hanson's posts a while back describing the link between smoking and death as weak.

Probably the most contrarian thing I've read in a while.

Daniel Kuehn writes:

My one concern with the Charlton case is that he expected one of two outcomes:

1. that the AIDs article would be ignored, and
2. that it would be decisively refuted

He doesn't even seem to consider the possibility that the research would be confirmed or supported.

Why should a journal publish an article when they have such strong expectation that it will be refuted. If Charlton thought the AIDs article was both out of the mainstream and good science, that would be one thing. But if he expected it to be overturned, what is the point of publishing it? Presumably the journal doesn't simply want eccentric points of view - I would hope it wants both eccentric and defensible points of view.

fundamentalist writes:

Buturovic1 and Klein: “Research has found that economics instruction does affect political attitudes slightly, though it is hard to say whether it “sticks” (Scott and Rothman 1975; Whaples 1995).”

The statement below explains why it doesn’t stick:

Buturovic1 and Klein: “Students and parents should understand that while academic economists are, relative to other faculty, more attuned to economic enlightened, a substantial majority vote Democratic and maintain an ideological character in line with that of most of the humanities and social-science faculty.”

College econ courses are often slanted to the left, as were mine in a graduate program. In addition, the Keynesian influence in mainstream econ is very leftist.

Buturovic1 and Klein: “Yet a study conducted and published by the American Council of Trustees and Alumni (ACTA) examined core requirements at 50 leading universities, including the “Big Ten, Big Eight, Ivy League and Seven Sisters” (Latzer 2004).… None of the 50 schools requires a student to take economics.”

This is the main reason that college doesn’t affect economic knowledge. Students with a leftist bent stay away from econ; they consider it nothing but free market propaganda. At the same the social sciences and humanities are structured around the Marxist theory of history and knowledge. If you take a literature class, you will become a socialist unless you are very knowledgeable about economics.

Could it simply be the case that IQ correlates positively with economic 'enlightenment' ? As IQ correlates with education, that could be the actual causal arrow.

Rajiv writes:

@Fenn, would you find the link between life and death contrarian as well? Statistical proof of co-existence doesn't imply proof of causality...

Biomed Tim writes:

Apparently, MH does not practice peer-review.

hacs writes:

If John and Mary are free individuals, and John trades with Mary, then John and Mary both believe they are better off. Sometimes their beliefs are consistent with trade outcomes, enhancing their self-reliance (they believe they are totally rational, for example), leading them to riskier transactions, and, eventually, triggering the second possibility : their beliefs are inconsistent with trade outcomes.

John and Mary are much more than free in the original version, they can know, objectively, everything (it's a world without delusions), including future events, every consequence of every transaction with every agent, etc. This is delusional.

Can government work as an antipsychotic?

Arnold Kling writes:

If you practice peer review, then it is very hard to be an Outsider journal.

Jack writes:

Economists in particular should favor the existence of some non-peer reviewed journals, if only to encourage competition of *types* of research evaluation. Peer review is only one type of quality evaluation, and has benefits and costs. The American Economic Association's Presidential addresses, Nobel addresses and Fellows lectures are published but not peer-reviewed. The American Economic Review's Papers & Proceedings issue contains non-peer reviewed articles. Yet they are read and cited. (Granted these are not outsider publications!)

The argument about laypersons getting "hoodwinked" is valid, but who's to say they aren't hoodwinked by peer-reviewed work that shortly gets overturned, or that is misinterpreted by the media and wrongly reported?

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