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And not a single African.

US: 28
UK: 8
Switzerland, India, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Brazil: 1
Germany: 2
France: 5
China: 4


Let me pose the same question that bounced around about the Canada Excellence Research Chairs. Stephen, can you clarify: Is your point that they left out more deserving Canadians, or that they should have lowered their standards to let some Canadians in?

Nor a Greek. Nor a Spaniard. Nor a Portuguese. Nor an Argentine. Nor an Australian.

And they could have done with half as many from the U. S., no?

In fairness, Karl Whelan (Ireland) is doing trojan work to try and curb the massive (by % of the economy standards) shackling of future generations to the bailout of that country's banks. If the other 49 are any bit as driven to inform the public the Economist might be on to something.

Could you suggest which Canadian economists you could reasonably have included in this group, were you to select it?

I counted two women. Are female economists that uncommon?

Their country representation is just overall bad. Will be the usual representation of partisan US interests as objective greater good for the world. Haha,the other two overrepresented countries, France and UK are closest aligned with US interests at the moment.

Funny that coment about standards. This is politics, dont pretend this is about academic excellence thats somehow just aviable in some countries. There are thousands of qualified economists in all those countries. Considering the flow of denials that there might be any problem from US elite Universities before the crisis, while economists in other countries were much more critical, its time to just forget about the idear that they have any suprior excellence.

Somehow, this must be related to the Big Mac Index. Or poutine.

"Is your point that they left out more deserving Canadians, or that they should have lowered their standards to let some Canadians in?"

Just off the top of my head: Considering the 'issues of the day' David Laidler (UWO) is more deserving thsan about 85% of the people on that list.

got to have someone to blame. so blame canada: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wOzG7bBylRo

SIR - Considering the 'issues of the day' David Laidler (UWO) is more deserving thsan about 85% of the people on that list.

How do you define "deserving"? Is he engaging, somewhat known outside of academia - in other words, of interest to the Economist's readers? The lack of representation could be a reflection of the lack of visibility/availability of Canadian economists in the mass media - an issue that has not gone unnoted on this blog.

From wiki:

Circulation for the news-magazine, audited by the Audit Bureau of Circulations (ABC), was over 1.2 million for the first half of 2007.[39] Sales inside North America were around 54 percent of the total, with sales in the UK making up 14 percent of the total and continental Europe 19 percent. The Economist claims sales, both by subscription and at newsagents, in over 200 countries. Global sales have doubled since 1997.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Economist#Circulation

Interestingly, Patrick's summary matches roughly the circulation numbers - N. America 54% of circulation, 56% of representation; UK 14% circ, 16% rep.

The mix could be based upon marketing considerations - perhaps they are serving/targeting key countries for circulation growth potential. Or we don't qualify as a "colony".


"How do you define "deserving"? Is he engaging, somewhat known outside of academia - in other words, of interest to the Economist's readers?"

Let's put it this way:

Suppose Milton Friedman were still alive. He'd be an obvious choice for this kind of thing. He'd probably be just about the first person they'd ask.

But Milton isn't available. So who do you go to then to replace him? The world's next best and next most prolific monetarist economist. That's David Laidler.

I'm no economist, but I could have picked out Friedman in a lineup because I had seen him numerous times in TV programs over the years. Where might I have seen Laidler?

Don, just under 10% (9.7 actually according to www.cswep.org) of full professors at US PhD granting econ departments are women.

So there are lots of women who could have participated - e.g. Becky Blank, Nancy Folbre. Perhaps they're busy - one thing I've found is that there's one or two women who always get asked to do things, those women get totally overwhelmed so say 'no', and then people turn to a man.

Kevin was talking about Canada Research Chairs - there have been very very few female CRCs over the years also.

"I'm no economist, but I could have picked out Friedman in a lineup because I had seen him numerous times in TV programs over the years. Where might I have seen Laidler?"

If that's your criteria, then about 45 of the 50 people on the list shouldn't be there.

Laidler last appeared in the media 3 days ago in a Terence Corcoran editorial:

http://www.nationalpost.com/opinion/columnists/story.html?id=7e9b370e-4111-428b-b769-d5779f131f86

45 of 50 is a pretty accurate figure, actually. I think I could pick out Cowen, de Long, Sumner, Thoma and Hal Varian in a police lineup. That's it.

If that's your criteria,

Not mine. Just trying to point out that perhaps the criteria for a widely circulated magazine is different than for an economics conference. Who knows? Maybe he was invited but declined.

"Not mine. Just trying to point out that perhaps the criteria for a widely circulated magazine is different than for an economics conference."

I understand.. but whichever criteria you want to use Laidler's going to come out ahead of most of those people. Doesn't make a difference. Although they have a lot of interesting things to say, I'm sure the presence of Michael Bordo or Viral Acharya aren't going to move a lot of extra magazines.

"Who knows? Maybe he was invited but declined."

This is quite possible.

I didn't mean to turn this thread into the 'David Laider fanclub'. There are a number of other Canadian economists who are equally if not better qualified (by whatever metric) than the 50 they have already. Canadian either by birth (Robert Mundell) or by school (Laidler).

I've never understood this nationality game with economists. In what important sense is Dick Baldwin Swiss or Ricardo Caballero American? This is where both have been working; but both are widely traveled and in contact with many others who travel widely.

I remember when Modigliani won the Nobel prize in Economics. US newspaper headlines reported "American Wins Nobel." Italian newspapers featured "Italian wins Nobel". Why do we care?

You're right; we shouldn't.

Put this post in the 'not-particularly-well-thought-out' category...

My concern for the list has less to do with Canadian under-representation (though that odd nationalist impulse did come up on first scan of the list) than it has to do with a over-representation of economists with narrow or confined areas of expertise, or those that are fiddlers in the fine art of technocracy. For a magazine that, at least in it's self-written introduction, still pays lip service to free markets, there are few very clear defenders of free markets on that list.

The country information refers to where they are currently based not their nationality (e.g. Caballero is Chilean) so let's see what comes out of that count.

Or better still, let's make the list based on where they got their Phds from.

Simon van Norden: "I remember when Modigliani won the Nobel prize in Economics. US newspaper headlines reported "American Wins Nobel." Italian newspapers featured "Italian wins Nobel". Why do we care?"

Because economics is ideological, ideology is political, and politics is local. :)

"...in a Terence Corcoran editorial"

I don't know Laidler from adam (or adam p for that matter), but unless he was being roundly criticized by Corcoran (only exceeded in his consistent wrongness by Steyn and Neil Reynolds), that is hardly a recommendation!!

Also, I agree with Min at 10:25...

Where you live, and where you work, does influence what your perspective about what the main economic problems are. Not overwhelmingly perhaps (because we read about what's going on in the rest of the world), but what's happening locally does have a salience.

That sounds right. For example, one of the recent topics is the bank tax: it would have been nice to have someone who was familiar with the Canadian experience.

The bank tax is a good example. Here's another. Who will end up paying for BP's "environmental tax" for its Gulf of Mexico blowout? World oil environmental tax?

Some have argued that BP's ascension under Lord Brown to world oil company powerhouse was partly due to his cost cutting efforts - laying off of internal technical expertise and outsourcing - so when it ran into technical problems, the corporate cupboard was bare. The company continues on with its quarterly dividend to shareholders - with apparently a substantial warchest to weather all forthcoming storms.

I doubt they would try to further cut internal expertise - making the employees pay. So, does this mean the world price for oil now goes up? And if so, does this mean that Canadian oil sands producers will earn more revenue - their production relatively less dirty and risky (the former true if one selectively uses this blowout to compare with status quo mining). And if they will earn more revenue, does this mean they can better afford to clean up their ops, or will the top 1% of employees (the executive) and shareholders capture the upside?

A bit O/T. But a Canadian economist's perspective (relative to the American -where the spill is occuring and the UK's - where BP is headquartered) may be different. Blog topic?

Michael Bordo is Canadian. He obtained his undergraduate degree from McGill, started his career in academia at Carleton, and to this day spends a couple of weeks each year at the Bank of Canada.

Now that *is* embarassing. I knew that, and even blogged about one of his papers with the Bank of Canada's Ali Dib and Larry Shembri.

Definitely not one of my finest moments in blogging.

@Stephen Gordon
To paraphrase Felix Salmon, if you're never wrong you're never interesting.

Russia is missing to, if you want talk G8, but no one takes their economists seriously.

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