David R. Henderson  

High Compliments from Alvin Rabushka

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One of my favorite Hoover colleagues, Alvin Rabuskha, in a post titled "Kudos to Econlog," writes:

EconLog is among the top economics blogs and among my favorites. I open it daily and sometimes several times a day.

Its bloggers are smart and provocative: Bryan Caplan, David R. Henderson, Scott Sumner, Alberto Mingardi, and other guest bloggers from time to time. They are willing to take on establishment economics with wit, logic, and evidence.

What distinguishes EconLog from several hundred other economics blogs is that its authors are willing to debate each other, sometimes vigorously. This is refreshing. One cannot predict exactly how any given topic may be analyzed. This blog is economics conversation at its best.


Thank you, Alvin.

He continues:

Which led me to thinking. Are there any other economics blogs or think tanks that put their internal intellectual disagreements out for the public to read? Are their fellows reluctant to criticize each other lest they displease their bosses and donors? Have think tank papers and posts become predictable due to age and donor bias? Is bigness itself an enemy of innovation and disruption in the world of ideas?


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COMMENTS (5 to date)
James writes:

I can think of two odd examples: Fed researchers will take opposing stances and people associated with the Mises Instutute will do so as well.

It might be meaningful to note that these debates, like the debates within Econlog, are largely over intramural disagreements. As interesting as they may be, I wish that there was more back and forth between e.g. people at the Fed and people at Mises.

Mark Bahner writes:
What distinguishes EconLog from several hundred other economics blogs is that its authors are willing to debate each other, sometimes vigorously.

Yes, that is very good feature of EconLog.

Best wishes,
Mark

Jon Murphy writes:

I agree fully with Mr. Rabuskha. This is one of my favorite blogs and I learn so much every time I read this. Back when I taught econ during my undergrad years, I constantly sent students here to read the blogs or to research stuff in the Encyclopedia.

Even one of my old professors, who is about as Keynsian as Keynsian can be loves this blog. He says it's one of the best econ resources out there.

RPLong writes:

Two additional examples come to mind for me: Bleeding Heart Libertarians, and (if it counts) Cato Unbound. Obviously I'm more familiar with the libertarian sites, and so I hope other commentators add some non-libertarian recommendations for me to add to my reading list.

Robert Schadler writes:

Hmmm. I agree with Babushka about EconLog, but I'm puzzled that he would agree with himself. From the extremist market-lovers, one would think one of two sources of information about economic issues would be deemed best: 1. the highest priced source of such information, as judged by the market overall; or 2. the one which Rabuskha himself pays the most for.
I am, of course, pleased that he both makes these judgments and is willing to share them publicly.
Additionally, it is surely not the "disagreement" that, per se, is what adds value to EconLog. Krugman and Galbraith, Trotsky and Luxembourg, etc. may disagree, but how valuable are such disagreements? Rather, it is both the quality of those who disagree and the open-mindedness toward what is more likely to be true.
One might turn to Frank Knight (economic man is just one of the many men inside each of us) and Elinor Ostrom (about how information interacts variously with the market) as well as Hayek's brilliant insight into the role of markets and information.

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