Thursday, January 8, 2015

Has Paul Krugman Replaced Milton Friedman As The Face Of Economcs?

Noah Smith tells us that Milton Friedman who was the voice of free market ideology for many years has been replaced by Paul Krugman, Thomas Piketty, Joseph Siglitz and others as the most publically visible economists.  Moreover, much of the ongoing research in economics is about the implications of market imperfections and market failure.  He suggests that the economic problems that we face today are different than those that prevailed in the Friedman era.  Perhaps that is why the most recent meeting of American Economics Association was dominated by papers on income inequality and other issues that replaced the concerns about trade unions and the cold war that were central during the Friedman era.

Liberals and progressives may be cheered by Smith's description of changes within the economics profession.  On the other hand, free market ideologists are welcomed in the numerous "think tanks" that have a larger impact on public policy than academics in our top universities.  Their views have a way of finding their way into the popular media and they are the primary advisers to republican politicans.

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