Friday, March 24, 2006

Top of the economist pops

The name is a bit of a joke, and many will find it just a little insulting, too. But the post-autistic economics movement - led by Bernard Guerrien and backed by a whole bunch of Cambridge PhDs - is a serious enough idea. You'd expect nothing less, given that heavyweight intellectual backers include Galbraith and Heilbronner.

Now some 1,249 subscribers to Post-Autistic Economics Review have made their choice of the greatest economists of all time. The result is a Nick Hornby-style list that will offer the cognoscenti hours of fun in debating who is and who isn't worth their place.

In line with the movement's left-leaning propensities, the choices seem to reflect a certain bias towards progressives. So victory for JMK is hardly surprising, and I am thoroughly glad that he whipped Hayek and Friedman's sorry asses. But how come the latter two names make the cut, while Smith and Ricardo don't?

I'm also pleased to see my Marxist main man, Ernest Mandel, at number 29, just pipping von Mises at number 30. Surely his magisterial theoretical contributions place him ahead of, say, the interesting but not outstanding soft Stalinist Sweezy? Why Prebisch, but not Wallerstein or Gunder Frank? As for Coase at number 18 ... puh-lease.

1. John Maynard Keynes 3,253
2. Joseph Alois Schumpeter 1,080
3. John Kenneth Galbraith 904
4. Amartya Sen 708
5. Joan Robinson 607
6. Thorstein Veblen 591
7. Michal Kalecki 481
8. Friedrich Hayek 469
9. Karl Polanyi 456
10. Piero Sraffa 383
11. Joseph Stiglitz 333
12. Kenneth Arrow 320
13. Milton Friedman 319
13. Paul Samuelson 319
15. Paul Sweezy 268
16. Herman Daly 267
17. Herbert Simon 250
18. Ronald Coase 246
19. Gunnar Myrdal 216
20. Alfred Marshall 211
21. Albert Hirschmann 208
22. Nicholoas Georgescu-Roegen 205
23. Kenneth Boulding 174
24. Wassily Leontief 153
25. Nicholas Kaldor 141
26. Douglas North 138
27. Raul Prebisch 102
28. John Hicks 97
29. Ernest Mandel 87
30. Ludwig von Mises 78

Incurable anoraks should click the link to the publication, as they will be delighted to find the poll stretches to over 100 names.

Meanwhile, a group blog of economists debates the political correctness of the taking the name of a such a debilitating personality disorder in vain 'post-autistic' here.


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