Scholarly Comments on Academic Economics

Volume 17, Issue 2, September 2020

In this issue (.pdf):

Five cities, five stories? Robert Kaestner explores the heterogeneity of results across Baltimore, Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, and New York in the work of Raj Chetty, Nathaniel Hendren, and Lawrence Katz, arguing that it is misleading to suggest that moving before the age of 13 to lower-poverty neighborhoods promises better outcomes. Chetty, Hendren, and Katz respond.

The AEA: Republicans need not apply: Mitchell Langbert investigates the American Economic Association, using voter-registration data and political-contribution data to show that the AEA officers, editors, authors, and other players are quite thoroughgoingly Democratic.

The AER: How much space is given to articles on gender, race and ethnicity, and inequality?: Jeremy Horpedahl and Arnold Kling track the trends 1991–2020 for the American Economic Review and Papers & Proceedings.

Lockdowns and covid hospitalizations: John Spry criticizes a JAMA research letter by Soumya Sen, Pinar Karaca-Mandic, and Archelle Georgiou about the effectiveness of stay-at-home orders, for eliding available placebo comparisons. Sen, Karaca-Mandic, and Georgiou reply.

Reading, writing, and Adam Smith: Scott Drylie uses Smith’s final words on school financing to review interpretations of Smith on schooling.

Carl Menger: The Errors of Historicism in German Economics: The first English translation of Menger’s 1884 reply to Gustav Schmoller is provided by Karen Horn and Stefan Kolev, whose Foreword analyzes the not-so-amicable Methodenstreit.

Data alteration: Ron Michener rejoins to Farley Grubb, explaining why he thinks that Grubb had no grounds for altering John McCusker’s data series and thereby generating outliers on which his results depend. (Professor Grubb received Professor Michener’s comment too late to allow for concurrent reply but will reply in the next issue of this journal.)

Frictionless note: With the approval and gratitude of Jeffrey Bergstrand, Nico Stoeckmann corrects the constant in the equation for a special, frictionless case of Bergstrand’s gravity equation for international trade.

Liberalism in Brazil: Lucas Berlanza provides a historical and modern guide to the fortunes of liberal ideas and trends in Brazil, extending the Classical Liberalism in Econ, by Country series to 20 articles.

Readworthy 2050: Nine correspondents respond to the question: What 21st-Century Works Will Merit a Close Reading in 2050?

EJW Audio:

Karen Horn and Stefan Kolev on Menger vs. Schmoller: The translators discuss Menger’s 1884 The Errors of Historicism in German Economics and the broader Methodenstreit.

Arnold Kling on Why Edward Leamer Deserves a Nobel Prize

Evan Osborne on Joan Robinson’s Little-Repented Maoism

Call for papers

Who should get the Nobel prize in economics, and why?

EJW fosters open exchange. We welcome proposals and submissions of diverse viewpoints. EJW also welcomes ‘journal watch’ submissions beyond Econ.

Read the September 2020 issue in full (.pdf)

Table of contents (.pdf) with links to articles