Thursday, October 30, 2008

Economists Speak Out!

Joseph Stiglitz, Aaron Edlin and Brad Delong (editors), The Economists' Voice: Top Economists Take on Today's Issues. Columbia University Press, 2008.

The Economists’ Voice
( is an innovative online journal (part of the Berkeley Electronic Press project) where prominent economists discuss and debate important public policy issues. The articles collected in this volume were originally published online and are still available there, an advantage especially to students who seem increasingly to rely upon online rather than hardcopy resources.

The book contains 35 short essays in nine broad theme areas. Climate change is analyzed by a trio of Nobel Prize winners, Thomas Schelling, Kenneth Arrow and Joseph Stiglitz. Other themes (and selected authors) include the International Economy (Bradford DeLong), the economics of the Iraq war (Stiglitz), U.S. fiscal policy (Michael Boskin and Ronald McKinnon), social security (Paul Krugman, Edward Lazear and Barbara Bergman), and tax reform (Boskin, Martin Feldstein, Robert Frank). Social policy, the death penalty and real estate markets complete the eclectic mix of topics.

I recommend this book, but I books are inevitably dated, so I recommend readers check out the online journal with its full archive and continuing stream of thoughtful articles on important policy issues.

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