Wednesday, December 06, 2006

L.A. Times Article on Blogging Economists

Via 2 Blowhards, here's a good piece on the phenomenon of economists finding wild celebrity on the Blogosphere. Excerpt: "Most people are afraid of economics. It seems so technical," Becker said. "But what is surprising is that if you put economics in a simple enough phrase, people are very much interested in it." Most of the economists say their readers aren't students. Cowen describes his fans as "high IQ, possibly nerdy, looking for kicks or for something different." The something different comes into play when the professors and bloggers loosen up. A recent Mankiw posting, for instance, discussed the winner of the Nobel Prize in economics and then cited a joke about members of the elite circle throwing feces at one another. It doesn't hurt that the bloggers often choose controversial topics. Becker recently wondered online whether polygamy should be legalized and debated the idea of a "fat tax," which would levy higher fees on foods that lead to obesity.

I've been meaning to reorganize the blogroll; maybe I'll give economists their own section. In the meantime, here are a bunch of economist jokes. Excerpt: Three econometricians went out hunting, and came across a large deer. The first econometrician fired, but missed, by a meter to the left. The second econometrician fired, but also missed, by a meter to the right. The third econometrician didn't fire, but shouted in triumph, "We got it! We got it!"

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