When GMU Economists Spar

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

to enjoy.

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.

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