6 thoughts on “A Subtle Book Review”

  1. Well, it’s come to this has it? If a book review is ‘free’ then we are to be grateful, eh? This is a sure sign of the impending end of our civilization. I enjoyed my part of the trip. Hope your book sells like hot cakes.

    Yr. Ob Servant,

  2. “…economists are always tough on each other.” I must have missed Lucas’ devastating takedown of Robert Barro’s latest WSJ op-ed.

    Actually the proposition is testable. You could assess the emotivity of the language used in academic blogs and book reviews – scholarly papers are no good since the emotion is edited out by convention. Applied to the work of a confrère, “idiotic”, “dishonest” would score say -10, “inappropriate” -2, “sound” +2, “a product of genius” +10. My hypothesis is that in an ideologically divided discipline, you would see both high emotivity (stronger language) and high polarisation (variance in emotivity score). I further hypothesise that the social sciences are more emotive and polarised than the natural sciences. I’d not venture a guess how economics shapes up against sociology, public policy, or history. But I would guess that emotivity and polarisation are inversely related within each to a focus on data: so econometricians will be less disputatious than theorists.

  3. “My hypothesis is that in an ideologically divided discipline, you would see both high emotivity (stronger language) and high polarisation (variance in emotivity score).”

    We could also treat it as a science, and examine the language when reality rears its ugly head, and tears down a major school of thought. Do people seem to notice that, or do they dismiss it as irrelevant?

  4. @Barry
    If only such a book had already been written… We could call it, I don’t know, maybe _Zombie Economics_?

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