Monday, February 19, 2007

Elementary Economics

Although I was busy last week with personal matters, I did manage to read the Wall Street Journal first thing every day, and noticed a number of stories that I thought would be widely discussed after publication. After looking around a bit, it seemed that the only one of my "likely suspects" who noticed was also one of my favorite reads, Greg Mankiw, who teaches introductory economics, among other things, at Harvard.

Until today, I didn't have time to search for legal copies of the articles on-line, but three of them will be posted shortly. As the Journal permits occasional emailing of articles to friends, and I have at most four or five friends reading this blog, I did give some thought to reproducing them here myself, in email format, but, after checking around, and discovering that just about everything I wanted was available, the subtrefuge was unnecessary.

The Wall Street Journal is probably the finest print publication available in the United States today, head and shoulders above the iconic New York Times. Unlike the Times, and most other newspapers these days, the editorial bias of the Journal is not routinely paraded, or subtly inserted, into presentations of the facts on the news pages, and the news editors do a relatively good job of ensuring that reporters do stick to the facts regardless of their own personal opinions.

While I was perusing Professor Mankiw's eminently readable blog, I came across his link to a hilarious take on Helpdesks. Not too many people would expect to find a link to two Norwegian comedians on a blog devoted to economics, however, as an avid reader of Mankiw, I was not the least bit surprised. I later found a different copy with less distracting sub-titles.

The articles I'm quoting are all written by winners of the Nobel Prize in economics:

"Competitive Cooperation" by Edward D. Prescott (2004)
"A Dog's Breakfast" by Daniel L. McFadden (2000)
"Mr. Counterintuition" an interview of Tom Schelling (2005) by Michael Spence (2001)


chuck b. said...

I like reading the WSJ too. We get it at home where, actually, we call it "the wall street". I think I got "WSJ" from reading blogs. I only read it couple times a week because I can't pick it up without reading everything in it that isn't too technical for me to understand. My s.o. reads it every day. Actually, he reads three or four issues all in one day and then puts them all in the recycling at the same time right after I've emptied it so I get to go empty it again (garbage and recycling is one of my chores). Some of us think he does this purposefully, but others disagree and say it's merely a coincidence.

Anyhow, it's terrible for the blogging enterprise that the WSJ is behind a subscription wall. That's all I really wanted to say.

Internet Ronin said...

I'm a bit like your s.o. because I tend to leave them out on the driveway for a few days before collecting them. That's because I read bits of it on-line every day as well. However, I realize that I don't wander around the different sections on-line, particularly the feature stories, so I tend to go through 3 or 4 in one morning to see what I missed.

A great disadvantage to on-line reading is the tendency to narrow one's vision.