Scholarly Comments on Academic Economics


EJW Audio

The voice of Econ Journal Watch

Lawrence H. White, the voice of EJW Audio The host of EJW Audio is Lawrence H. White, a co-editor of EJW and professor of economics at George Mason University.

In a typical EJW Audio podcast, Professor White and the author of a recent EJW article discuss that article and related issues.

Daniel Klein on the Ideological Migration of the Economics Laureates

Daniel Klein describes and summarizes the project in EJW that investigates the ideological outlook of each of the 71 Nobel laureates in economics (through 2012) and whether that outlook changed over the course of his or her adult life. Change is charted particularly with respect to classical liberalism. Klein discusses whether the results serve as meta-evidence for the wisdom of classical liberalism.

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Frank Stephenson on Occupational Licensing and Labor Economics

Frank Stephenson discusses his 2009 EJW article with Erin Wendt on the scant coverage of occupational licensing (OL) in labor economics textbooks. The scantiness raises interesting questions, given the large and growing role of OL in the economy, and the value of the topic in teaching economic insights. Stephenson reports that, since the article appeared, two of the in-print texts that had entirely neglected OL have been revised to include some coverage of OL. Stephenson has also written a short update about those two revised textbooks.

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Catherine Hakim on Work-Lifestyle Preference and Erotic Capital

In this podcast, Catherine Hakim first discusses “preference theory,” her theory that women have different attitudes than men about work and lifestyle. The discussion is framed by her contribution to the 2008 EJW symposium on gender balance in the economics profession. (And here is a subsequent rejoinder by symposium lead authors Christina Jonung and Ann-Charlotte Ståhlberg.) Then, Dr. Hakim discusses her recent work on erotic capital, explaining what it is, what it helps us understand, and why it is increasingly important.

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David Lipka on Deirdre McCloskey, Max U, and Prudence in Adam Smith

David Lipka brings Adam Smith’s ideas about prudence to Deirdre McCloskey’s suggestion that the Max U approach represents prudence. In this discussion of his EJW article, Lipka suggests that prudence in Smith and maximization are quite different things, and he explains several facets of the difference. While embracing McCloskey’s larger project, Lipka cautions against associating prudence with maximization.

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Daniel Sutter on the Near Absence of Math-free Economics Articles

In an EJW article, Daniel Sutter and Rex Pjesky asked “Where Would Adam Smith Publish Today?” Their research shows that an overwhelming share of papers appearing in six leading general journals and four leading field journals are mathematical, with 6% of the papers qualifying as ‘math-free’ by the weakest criterion and only 1.5% by the strongest criterion. Here Sutter talks about the findings, noting that Smith, Keynes, Hayek, and Coase might never have broken through had such conditions held in their time. He suggests that perhaps economics has fallen into a homophily among mathematical researchers, resulting in a narrowing of discourse and methods.

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