Do you ever wonder what faculty discussions are like within economics departments,
when smart colleagues disagree? The wonderful thing about having half a department
blogging is that sometimes these discussions spill over onto the web, for all
GMU’s Robin Hanson is presently reading the new
book by GMU’s Tyler Cowen, Discover Your Inner Economist.
And he’s not particularly happy either with the
way that he himself is represented, or with the way that Cowen approaches
Hanson’s speciality, the
art of overcoming bias. Hanson is blogging his reactions to the book, and
Cowen, in the comments, is responding:
I should make one further note about bias: I’ve had several reporters tell
me that subjects of "portraits" are rarely happy with what is written
about them, especially if it makes them sound interesting.
It’s interesting that this kind of thing is making it onto public blogs, but
that so far all the GMU economics bloggers have remained publicly silent on
the news of Vernon Smith’s departure, as well as that of Richard
Florida. Intellectual disagreements are worthy blog fodder, it would
seem; real departmental politics, on the other hand, maybe not so much.
Related: A personalized audio blog from Cowen, on the subject of economists
as public intellectuals.
Update: The Hanson vs Cowen debate moves over to
Revolution. Read the comments especially.