A nice interview with John Cochrane from University of Chicago on Economic Rockstars. He has good sensible things to say about all sorts of subjects, and you learn he is an avid glider pilot. Wow! Highly recommended, but for me one false note. Towards the end of the interview he is asked about his “conversion moment” from physics to economics. He talks about a micro class where he first learns about the kinked budget constraint of poor people on welfare. In his retelling this was a key moment: the objective tools of microeconomics could be used to understand poverty. No more need poverty be couched in moral subjective blah blah. He could apply physics/math tools (objective no bullshit reasoning) to address society’s most critical problems. Except that when you look at his research page, all his research is at a very abstract level of the economy. Poor people are just not there (poor models are, but not poor people!). Sure, macroeconomics and financial markets matter, but not at the gut level of Cochrane’s conversion story. What happened, one thinks, is that he used physics/math tools (objective no bullshit reasoning) to address economist’s most critical problems. Not quite the same thing. Still, respect, duh. The guy is brilliant.
Blogs I Follow
- Choices, choices: Radio campaign to reduce rural child mortality or public transport infrastructure for Ouagadougou
- Stata tip: Doing something conditional on existence of a variable in the dataset, using a local
- Livres photos pour les bibliothèques, de International School of Ouagadougou (ISO)
- My Dad sends me to a Nigerian comedy web site… pretty good!
- Honey bees are essential for pollination karité trees in Burkina Faso
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