Tuesday, April 06, 2004

Why Does Krugman Still Have A Job?

In Luskinesque form, Gene Epstein writing in Barron's completely demolishes the farce that is Krugman's "unemployment rate has fallen since last summer...[is] entirely the result of people dropping out of the labor force" statement from a few weeks back. While Luskin gets his due for sticking it to Krugman on many turns, Epstein deserves note for using economics against a purported economics professor (of the ivy league persuasion, no less)! This is not a slander against Luskin, who offers many insights, both financial and economic, in his arguments. However, there's something about Epstein sticking it to Krugman with his own stats, then closing with "In sum, to make an historical comparison between now and 20 years ago, you either had to adjust the old data upward, or the new data downward. If you want to use these numbers to know what's happening in the real world, you have to know these things."

In short, I'd love to see Brad DeLong weigh in on this (in an academic sense), since he never really misses an opportunity to stick up for his closet-boyfriend.

Also, there was a recent post (memory is bad, forgetting who posted it; i will update when i remember) demonstrating just how inconsequential Krugman is as an economist. In an area where he is sometimes touted as the end all, be all (free trade), a review paper mentioned none of his work. In fact, they completely glossed over his 'home market' theory without a single remark. Hmm.....silence is not your friend Krugman, which is probably why you enjoy to hear your own shill remarks on a bi-weekly basis from the cover of ol lady gray.

One last note: as an economics student, throughout micro, macro, econometrics, foreign/trade finance, etc. I never once was introduced to the ideas/rantings of Paul Krugman. I was so shocked one day to read that he was a Bates Medal Winner in the field, and a virtual shoe-in for the Nobel prize in said area of study. Were ALL of my professors that obtuse, that blinded by the greatness that is Krugman that they failed to even MENTION his work? Or have his theories simply been shown demonstrably false since his heyday?