December 19, 2011

I Hired Greg Mankiw to Write my Blog Post

No, not really. But that was an awesome headline, huh?

I wanted to write a devastating takedown of Yoram Bauman's evil NYTimes article. Bauman is the very humorous "Stand Up Economist" whose work has graced these pages. I've drawn some cold air around my molars at some of the political/philosophical positions in his comedy routines, but they are funny and smart, so I enjoy them as one might enjoy NPR.

Bauman proves that economists are greedy bastards, because -- and here I must borrow heavily from @ModeledBehavior 's 140 character takedown -- "Students are 'free riding' by not donating to left wing interest groups?"

That's the gist of it. It is pure tommyrot, wrapped in a bow and presented as data. I was determined to show my beloved ThreeSourcers its folly. Thankfully, Professor N. Gregory Mankiw of Harvard beat me to the punch:

Yet I am not persuaded by the evidence he gives that economics classes are failing to do that. Maybe, having heard both sides of the story, the students make better decisions, just not the ones that Yoram appears to approve of! Perhaps the students were persuaded by this famous insight: "By pursuing his own interest he frequently promotes that of the society more effectually than when he really intends to promote it."

And no, that is not Gordon Gekko.

Economics and Markets Posted by John Kranz at December 19, 2011 12:43 PM
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