If you follow the economic policy debate in the popular press, you would be excused for missing one of our best-kept secrets: There’s remarkable agreement among economists on most policy questions. Unfortunately, this consensus remains obscured by the two laws of punditry: First, for any issue, there’s always at least one idiot willing to claim the spotlight to argue for it; and second, that idiot may sound more respectable if he calls himself an economist.
How then can the quiet consensus compete with these squawking heads? A wonderful innovation run by Brian Barry and Anil Kashyap at the University of Chicago’s Booth School Initial on Global Markets provides one answer: Data. Their “Economic Experts Panel” involves 40 of the leading economists across the US who have agreed to respond on the economic policy question du jour. The panel involves a geographically and ideologically diverse array of leading economists working across different fields. The main thing that unites them is that they are outstanding economists who care about public policy. The most striking result is just how often even this very diverse group of economists agree, even when there’s stark disagreement in Washington.
University of Chicago Professors Douglas Diamond and Anil Kashyap, whose description of the causes of the financial crisis is the most widely circulated post ever to appear on this blog, are back to explain the Geithner Plan in simple-to-understand terms, along with what they do and don’t like about it. For this post, they’ve also […] Read More »
When the financial crisis was just beginning to appear, I did one of the smartest things I’ve ever done: I asked my colleagues Doug Diamond and Anil Kashyap to explain to me what was happening. What they said was so enlightening that I begged them to write it up for the blog, which they did. […] Read More »
Last week, my colleagues Doug Diamond and Anil Kashyap guest-blogged on the financial crisis. The response to their piece was amazing. At one point, their blog post was the second-most-emailed article of the day for the entire New York Times, even though it wasn’t even in the printed version of the paper — just on […] Read More »
As an economist, I am supposed to have something intelligent to say about the current financial crisis. To be honest, however, I haven’t got the foggiest idea what this all means. So I did what I always do when something related to banking arises: I knocked on the doors of my colleagues Doug Diamond and […] Read More »