David Leonhardt today applauds Esther Duflo and Abhijit Banerjee of the Poverty Action Lab at MIT for "making economics relevant again". His column is the result of his second annual survey of economists; the first came up with a list of 13 untenured "economists to watch".
Today is a good day to laud economists, since it is also the day that Jim Poterba has been named the new head of the NBER, replacing the universally-admired Marty Feldstein. Poterba’s appointment comes as no surprise, and is likely to go down well among economists. Congratulations to him, to Duflo and Banerjee and their colleagues, and to everybody else who is keeping economics relevant and interesting, both in the academy and in the blogosphere. It’s a rare and special skill.