Wednesday 13 Oct 2021 | 19:39 | SYDNEY
Wednesday 13 Oct 2021 | 19:39 | SYDNEY

When economists argue


Mark Thirlwell

21 July 2010 16:13

I noticed that one of the links in Sam's roundup yesterday was to The Economist's question about the future of China’s labour supply (incidentally, a topic I posted on a while back). Seeing this reminded me that there's now almost a surfeit of entertaining economic debate available on the internet. 

So, for example, the China labour question is only the latest in a series of topics covered by The Economist's 'by invitation' feature, which brings together a range of top economists to offer their views on a range of subjects, including the future of China's currency policy, inflation vs. deflation, and the case for a bank tax.

Alternatively, you could head over to the Financial Times and track the austerity-or-stimulus debate underway between a number of prominent commentators. Then there's the FT's Economists' Forum, not to mention the somewhat more democratic Exchange.

Is the growing availability of all this expert economic commentary a good thing? Well, on the one hand, it's very interesting to be able to read what some of the profession's leading thinkers are making of contemporary issues.  On the other hand, given the amount of disagreement that's sometimes on view, it also lends itself rather unfortunately to one of the stereotypes about economists: that for every economist, there exists an equal and opposite economist. 

See what I did just then...?

Photo by Flickr user This Year's Love, used under a Creative Commons license.