Robert Shiller, not much of an op ed writer

Web 2.0 is a great thing not least because we no longer have to rely on journalists for our reading about contemporary events. Particularly in the area of commentary, why read a journo when you can read a Nobel Prize winner in their field. This sentiment finds its apotheosis in Paul Krugman, uber economist, uber commentator, uber blogger, uber economic journalist. He even has time to casually wade through tomes about the decline and fall of Rome. His most recent column was a corker, making me wonder how Australian conservatives can possibly identify with the US Republicans.

It begins:

A note to Tea Party activists: This is not the movie you think it is. You probably imagine that you’re starring in “The Birth of a Nation,” but you’re actually just extras in a remake of “Citizen Kane.”

But that doesn’t mean all top line economists can write like that. Here’s Robert Shiller’s latest, which was reproduced in the AFR recently. He’s done some great work, though it’s often soggy and repetitive to read. This effort is a bit like a letter to his Mum talking inconclusively and not very insightfully or interestingly about a paper given at Jackson Hole and concluding that we might end up having seven or more years slow growth as punishment for our past excesses but that then again, maybe we won’t. Hard to argue with really.

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Matt C
11 years ago

Shiller was a guest on EconTalk recently, and I found him quite dull. He’s a hesitant, nervous speaker.