Re: Krugman on Gould, et al.

Robin Hanson (
Wed, 03 Mar 1999 15:56:21 -0800

On 1/26/99 Mark Crosby wrote:
> wrote:
>> Query, though, whether Krugman knows much about
>>biology. I recall thinking that his criticisms of
>>bioeconomics were about half-right.
>I recall this also ;)
>> >Paul Krugman is a very good economist. Robin Hanson
>Does "very good economist" mean he knows how to
>construct models? Krugman is certainly very good at
>being a controversial talking head... The following
>might be of interest ...
>"Friedrich Hayek and Joseph Schumpeter have many
>modern admirers .. But were they great economists? I
>don't think so." Paul Krugman, _Slate_, Dec. 2, 1998
>[CUT - huge number of quotes from distinguished
>economists citing Hayek's insights as essential to
>their own work.]
>... I objected to his having
>written that, before John Maynard Keynes came along,
>the world's understanding of recessions was "in a
>state of arrested development." Wasn't he familiar
>with the Austrian theory of business cycles, ...

Academics are in general terrible at the history of academia, and Krugman is no exception. Academics are expected to have opinions on the history of their field, but most have neither the time nor inclination to do thorough research on the subject.

I agreed almost entirely with Krugman's assessment of Bionomics, and have great respect for his academic work. I have also like most of his stuff for public consumption - he is refreshingly non-ideological and clear headed.

Robin Hanson   
RWJF Health Policy Scholar             FAX: 510-643-8614 
140 Warren Hall, UC Berkeley, CA 94720-7360 510-643-1884 after 8/99: Assist. Prof. Economics, George Mason Univ.