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Re: The Booming of the Big Guns


As I note below, five Noble Prize winners–Gary Becker, James Buchanan, Edward Prescott, Robert Mundell, and Vernon Smith–have signed a petition warning against the economic policies of Barack Obama while supporting those of John McCain.  From the inbag:

Why then is Joseph Stiglitz, a Nobel Prize winner enthusiastically endorsing Obama?

For readers seeking to make up their own minds about this Battle of the Nobel Laureates, a suggestion.  Look at the articles by Gary Becker and Vernon Smith that appeared during the last week in the Wall Street Journal.  Then compare Becker and Smith with Joseph Stiglitz’s long article in the current Vanity Fair.

My own view?  Becker and Smith are engaged in serious and careful economic analysis.  Stiglitz, by contrast, engages in virtually no economic reasoning, adopting instead a breezy style while offering one unsubstiated assertion after another in an article that might almost have been ghosted by James Wolcott or Frank Rich.  Stiglitz is entited to his opinions, of course.  But what he offers here is political commentary, not economics.


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