Sunday, April 15, 2012

On the state of economic research blogging

If you are an economist and maintain a blog, the best way to get an audience is to get into fights with pundits and journalists, and you then easily become a pundit yourself, losing the impartiality you are supposed to have as a scientist. The most popular economist bloggers are either openly libertarian or quite far right, or in reaction resolutely on the left. Almost all engage in politicking and wars of words and have basically abandoned the principles of impartiality their scientific upbringing taught them. The impartial scientists are drowned. tries to rectify that, aggregating blog posts that discuss research, or at least refer to research. The list of monitored blogs is impressively long, yet it saddens me to see that the "popular" blogs are nowhere to be seen near the top of those who have discussed the most research, despite their considerable volume of posts. While I could be proud to be (far) ahead on this last list, it saddens me again how little consistent discussion of research there is. Out in the blogosphere, are we really so few economists doing this? Why can't the top economics blogs relate more to the results of their field?

A positive externality of is that is compiles a list of all papers I discussed, including where the ultimately got published. I have put the link in the sidebar and will come back to discuss it sometime soon.


Anonymous said...

It's hard to have something substantial to say about good papers. It's also hard not to repeat the same criticisms that apply to the entire literature on a paper-by-paper basis.

Given this, you might ideally post only once in a while, when you do have something to say, but there's also a feeling of pressure to update often.

I guess one work-around is to pick on bad papers, but no one cares about bad papers from N-tier departments (hint, hint).

Kansan said...

To be honest, you are setting the bar very high. I would not be capable of reading so many paper from so many fields and find something intelligent to say about one every day.

But I agree more should discuss research. How to find the energy of doing this is the problem, our days are already so full. I can barely keep up with reading the blogs.

Christian Zimmermann said...

I share your assessment and command you for all the posts you have produced. Without you, would be missing almost a fourth of its links, according to the statistics I just added! See here.

Add if anybody has suggestions for other blogs to add to the list, please send me an email.

UDADISI said...

Many blogs discuss SSRN papers, which might not be in this data set.

Anonymous said...

SSRN crashes my browser whenever I visit it. I am happy that Economic Logic avoids it.

Christian Zimmermann said...

I cannot include blog post links to SSRN for the following reasons. SSRN does not have public metadata that would allow me to validate a link. Also, because SSRN covers more than Economics, I cannot check whether the link is within the scope of Finally, there is no way to find the corresponding item in IDEAS to provide a link back.