Scholarly Comments on Academic Economics


News & Press

Econ Journal Watch moves to the Fraser Institute

In 2007 EJW was done the great honor and service of being taken in by Atlas Network (then called the Atlas Economic Research Foundation), thanks especially to the kindness of Alejandro Chafuen, Brad Lips, Romulo Lopez, and the late Leonard Liggio. After ten years of generous support and always excellent assistance from Atlas, EJW is moving under a new roof. EJW will be ever grateful to Atlas for the tremendous help and friendship given to the project. We thank also Atlas friends (present and past) Harry Kalsted and Jim Cardillo.

EJW is honored again to be given the opportunity to move to the Fraser Institute, Canada’s leading think tank. The Fraser Institute is one of the great classical liberal organizations, and it is the parent of the Economic Freedom Project led by James Gwartney, Robert Lawson, Joshua Hall, and Fred McMahon; EJW has published numerous articles that make significant use of the index (see 1, 2, 3, 4, 5). (Here is Fraser's announcement of the partnership.) The move has been facilitated by the Institute’s Executive Vice-President Jason Clemens. EJW is proud indeed to have a partner in the Fraser Institute, and very grateful.

EJW apology to Professor Farley Grubb

From Daniel Klein: In 2006 (vol. 3, no. 2), Econ Journal Watch published an article titled “Farley Grubb’s Noisy Evasions on Colonial Money.” Professor Grubb has lately shared with us his sentiments about that title. EJW is edited so as to allow boisterous give and take (particularly when issuing from commented-on authors), but we at EJW now feel, sincerely, that that title was overly derisive, and that it was unprofessional on our part. We apologize to Farley Grubb for that title, and we are grateful to him for having communicated with his thoughts on the matter.

Langbert, Quain, and Klein to rectify coverage error

by Daniel B. Klein

Sean T. Stevens, in preparing a blog post for Heterodox Academy about the Langbert, Quain, and Klein article in EJW, scrutinized the article and caught a problem, and then kindly sent us a query about it.

Sean noticed that in footnote 5 (p. 424) we list University of Florida and University of Miami as among those universities that, though ranked high enough by U.S. News to be included in our investigation, were not included because they sit in states not covered by Aristotle (the database used for the study).

But Sean noticed that in footnote 4 (p. 423), listing the states not included in Aristotle, Florida is not listed. In fact, Florida is covered by Aristotle. In fact, those two Florida universities should have been included in our investigation.

To rectify the problem, we need to investigate the two universities that have been mistakenly left out of our analysis, which covered 40 universities. Although our subscription to Aristotle had expired, Aristotle has generously restored to us temporary access, to rectify the problem. We are proceeding now and will report back on the findings; look for a notice here at EJW News.

We are grateful to Sean for catching our error and bringing it to our attention!

EJW beyond Econ

There aren’t many strong parallels to Econ Journal Watch in contiguous social sciences. People from such disciplines have often said they need an EJW in their discipline.

EJW has sometimes ventured into contiguous social sciences, as with its symposium on legal conceptions of property (link), an exchange in industrial ecology (link), and an exchange on sociological research on racial discrimination (link). In the September issue we feature an article on gender sociology’s neglect of scientific findings on sex differences (link).

EJW is open to articles from contiguous disciplines. One may read our section descriptions and think about applying the section concepts to other disciplines. On submitting work to EJW, see here.

“Economists on the Welfare State and Regulatory State” panel discussion

On October 13, Econ Journal Watch editor Daniel Klein chaired a Mercatus Center panel discussion of the EJW symposium “Economists on the Welfare State and the Regulatory State: Why Don’t Any Argue in Favor of One and Against the Other?” The panelists were Donald Boudreaux, Scott Sumner, and Jeremy Rabkin. Watch below, or via YouTube.

Don Boudreaux has kindly posted online the text of his commentary.

The EJW symposium on this topic was published in the January issue (download, .pdf). Contributors included Dean Baker, Andreas Bergh, Marjorie Griffin Cohen, Robert Higgs, Arnold Kling, Anthony Randazzo and Jonathan Haidt, Scott Sumner, and Cass Sunstein.


Research by Dennis Coates and Brad Humphreys published in the September 2008 issue of EJW was featured in a segment of the Home Box Office television program "Last Week Tonight with John Oliver" that criticized public subsidies for stadiums. The episode in question aired July 12, and the segment can be viewed for free online here.

Call for papers: Classical Liberalism in Econ, by Country

We invite proposals for papers on the status of classical liberalism in the economics profession in a particular country, to be published as a symposium in a future issue of Econ Journal Watch. Tell us which country you propose to write about, how you would go about doing it, what you’d expect to say, and why you are qualified to write such a paper. Send communications/​proposals to the chief editor Daniel Klein at

In proposing or undertaking such a submission, consider the following suggestions:

  • Tell a little about the country’s tradition of classical liberal economics, the trajectory, the ups and downs. Who have been the central players?
  • Tell a little about the overall tenor of academic economics in the country. Does it have a mainstream? Is it generally congenial to classical liberalism? Is it hostile?
  • In what ways does it differ significantly from professional economics in the United States?
  • What are the most significant centers, departments, networks of classical liberal economics? Who are the notable individuals?
  • How did the centers and departments develop? Are they well accepted? Are they under attack?
  • Are there classical liberal economists in the public discourse? Are some outside academia?

Authors should temper impulses to use the assignment unduly as an opportunity for in-group promotion or self-congratulation.

Submissions will be externally refereed by economists from the country, and not only by classical liberal economists. Submissions should be between 3000 and 10,000 words.

Here we shall maintain a list of countries for which we have received promising contact from individuals who are intending to write about the named country, or pondering doing so. But even if your country is listed below, do still contact us, as the plan for those countries is not necessarily set, and collaboration is possible:

  • Spain
  • France
  • Poland
  • Czech Republic
  • ex-Yugoslav countries
  • Denmark
  • Mexico
  • Brazil
  • Guatemala
  • Venezuela
  • Chile
  • India
  • Pakistan
  • Lebanon
  • Israel
  • Australia
  • China
  • South Korea

We shall keep this listing current. If your country is not listed here you can get first dibs. We welcome your contact!

Call for papers for “Government Propaganda Watch” symposium

Econ Journal Watch usually watches the economics profession, but in one future symposium we will ‘watch’ the government. We invite critiques of the propaganda of particular government agencies. The propaganda need not be expert government reports and the like; the focus may be on outreach propaganda such as government websites, pamphlets, speeches, educational videos, and so on.

We are looking for informed, scholarly, temperate criticism of claims made in government propaganda.

Publication of the symposium is tentatively scheduled for the January 2017 issue of EJW.

George Selgin has written a critique of Federal Reserve System propaganda. The paper appears in Cato Journal. Selgin’s piece serves as a nice example of what we are looking for.

If you are interested in developing and submitting such a piece, we encourage you to write to us to describe what you have in mind. Tell us the agency you will criticize and instance some false claims found in its propaganda. Tell us why you wish to undertake the piece, and about your scholarly or professional background in the policy issues and institutions involved.

We are open to proposals from scholars and experts outside of economics. One need not be an economist to contribute to this symposium. The aim is to shine a light on the government’s propagation of falsehoods, and one certainly need not be an economist to do that.

Send communications/​proposals to the chief editor Daniel Klein at