Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Don't miss this blog!

Greg Mankiw, the Harvard economics professor who served for several years as President Bush's Chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers, recently started his own blog. It's meant primarily for his EC10 class, but there's some great economics there. For example, those of us who understand the reality of market incentives know that higher tax rates discourage economic production. But by how much? Dr. Mankiw cited a study that gives estimates.
The goal of this blog is primarily pedagogical. As a result, I will spend less time offering my personal opinions than do other bloggers. I do, however, write opinion pieces from time to time, and I usually post these on my Harvard website. My most recent piece, from the Wall Street Journal, can be found here:
http://www.aei.org/publications/pubID.23634,filter.all/pub_detail.asp

Although this blog will sometimes lapse into self-promotion (as I just did), I will try to keep it to a minimum. I will, however, often link to other economists' opinion pieces, if they have pedagogical value.
Poor Mankiw, as my blogfather Don Luskin so aptly put it, was "pilloried" by the media (acting as John Kerry's mouthpiece) during the 2004 presidential campaign, because he dared to tell the truth that outsourcing to foreign countries is beneficial. There's so much to learn from his books, other writings and speeches; his blog merely cements his reputation as a brilliant (and still relatively young) economist. His introductory economics textbook was what we used in my Macroeconomics I class. It's an excellent introductory text, very clearly written, and nowhere near as Keynesian as texts for more advanced macro.

I've always regarded Dr. Seamus O'Cleireacain, my macro professor and undergraduate thesis advisor, as one of the most brilliant people I've ever known. Yet even he, explaining early in Macro I why he chose our textbook over others, said Mankiw is a smarter man. Anyone who knows Dr. O'Cleireacain must realize how that was extremely high praise.

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