In lieu of any actual content, here’s a list of things that I will be talking about, once I magically find the time. Suggestions for other topics are welcome.
I read a lot of books. A few that I’d like to discuss are:
- Poor Economics (Abhijit Banerjee)
- The Enigma of Capital (David Harvey)
- Whoops! (John Lanchester)
- Guns, Germs and Steel (Jared Diamond)
- Heterodox Macroeconomics (various authors)
- Debt: The First 5000 Years (David Graeber)
- The Logic of Scientific Discovery (Karl Popper – not an economics book but often relevant)
Mostly this is because these books are on my shelf right now. If I’m going to plough through the bloody things, it seems a waste not to get a blog-post out of them.
Schools of macroeconomics
The schools I’ve personally come across, and wish to talk about, are:
- Various heterodox (esp. MMTers)
I’d also like to give quick biographies of the key players. The underlying goal of all this is to make sure that, having come to economics late in life, I haven’t missed anything too obvious.
I have a huge pile of these on my hard drive. From my point of view, it’s not just the conclusions that are interesting; I’d also like to discuss the methods and mindsets.
To start with, I’m basically going to be regurgitating what the paper actually says (hopefully in a more accessible format). Over time I hope that I’ll develop some actual critical analysis skills. To this end, where possible I will duplicate the analysis involved in the paper.
Papers I’d particularly like to look at:
- Unemployment in Spain (Garcia-Rubiales)
- Downward nominal wage stickiness in Japan (or words to that effect – this is the one I can’t track down)
- The Liquidation of Government Debt (Reinhardt, Sbrancia)
- The Theory of Interstellar Travel (Krugman)
- Financial Crises and Economic Activity (Cecchetti)
- The Spread of Inequality (Rogers, Deshpande, Feldman)
- Contagion In Financial Networks (Gai, Kapadia)
- [insert lots more here]
Ideally, this section will be the absolute core of the blog: focusing on what real economists study on a day-to-day basis.
It will also include a lot of papers that no “real” economics source would touch with a bargepole, because they lack flash and only confirm what (we thought) we already knew. IMO papers like this are really what it’s all about – all the rest is speculation. I particularly like reading people’s theses, because they often devote a lot of effort and thought to comparatively routine bits of economic analysis.
The tribulations of the amateur economist
Everyone accumulates rants. If you’re reading this blog, you get to be on the receiving end of mine. How lucky for you.
Pet hates at this point in time are:
- Grey literature
- Basic economics textbooks
- Theological approaches to economics
- Economic quackery and its epidemiology
More will emerge over time – I guarantee it.