Chris Dillow over at Stumbling and Mumbling has responded to The Economist’s controversial list of the world’s most influential economists with a post saying complexity economics should be more influential. I agree with him. But he set me thinking about which other economists ought to have featured in the list.
One glaring feature of the ranking is the complete absence of women. It excludes current (but not former) central bankers, so Janet Yellen doesn’t feature. Nor does Christine Lagarde – a lawyer, true, but not all the people on the list are economists anyway. There are other highly influential women who surely ought to have featured, such as, , , doing work that has been much discussed in the publications and blogs I look at. It’s a very Anglo-American list too, as it is about the English language blogosphere.
[amazon_image id=”B0092I0M0Y” link=”true” target=”_blank” size=”medium” ]Poor Economics A Radical Rethinking of the Way to Fight Global Poverty by Duflo, Esther ( Author ) ON Jun-09-2011, Hardback[/amazon_image] [amazon_image id=”0674035305″ link=”true” target=”_blank” size=”medium” ]Race between Education and Technology[/amazon_image] [amazon_image id=”0857282522″ link=”true” target=”_blank” size=”medium” ]The Entrepreneurial State: Debunking Public vs. Private Sector Myths (Anthem Other Canon Economics)[/amazon_image]
The other striking thing is that the list only contains two sub-disciplines, behavioural economics and macro. Important, but my goodness there is so much more to economics.
So my nomination for economists who ought to have been included are all those applied micro people working on public policy issues. They are often attached to institutes and work collaboratively. It only takes a quick glance at the research publications issued by the IFS, CMPO, CEP, CEPR, NIESR in the UK, or the NBER or TSE – or many, many other groups in many countries – to see what an impressive amount of empirical economic evidence is accumulating. I guess it isn’t so visible because it is dispersed among different questions – everything from my University of Manchester colleague Rachel Griffith‘s work on the causes of obesity to Marc Ivaldi on competition policy in the telecoms and technology sectors to Costas Meghir and colleagues on the inter-generational returns to women’s education. Nor does it make the headlines often, as the public debate is so macro-dominated.
Which is a handy way of segueing into saying I am now on the roster of contributors to the FT’s new blog The Exchange, and have a post there today about how we should be thinking about infrastructure investment. I’ll be writing about applied micro and policy issues.