Monday, March 22, 2010

Good economics reading today

Arnold Kling differs with Greg Mankiw, who differs with Alan Greenspan.

For even more fun, Bryan Caplan and Mike Shedlock have a bet on unemployment through 2015.

UPDATE: Scott Sumner calls out several economists, including himself. The whole thing is fascinating; I'll just excerpt what he said about his views on history:
I once read all the New York Times from 1928-38. History seems really different when it is actually happening. The people back then seemed just as smart as we are. Of course we have a bit more history to learn from, so we did a bit better with monetary policy this time around. But we still made many of the same mistakes, just to a lesser degree. The class distinctions back then seemed bigger–which surprised me. I knew that was the case for African-Americans, but I didn’t realize that class divisions among whites were also much greater, and that the upper class was so uninterested in the suffering of average farmers and workers. Or how much wealth was concentrated in New York City at that time. I also developed a much greater respect for the stock, bond, and commodity markets’ ability to forecast the economy. They reacted to lots of things that seemed very important at the time, and that I think actually were very important, which are totally ignored by historians. A good example is the gold panic of early 1937 and the dollar panic of late 1937.

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