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Hmmm, at least in the video that you posted above, I don't think that D'Amico did particularly well in communicating the ideas.If you are not familiar with the basic ideas, it might be hard to understand what he is getting at.

Yet, it is obvious as well, that he will get better (especially, if he is a regular now), but for now, there is much room of improvement (obviously, it is not so easy to communicate essential things in such a TV show).

For instance, Bob Murphy, imho did a better job, just from a pedagogical point of view, but props to D'Amico.

Dan got invited as a regular based on his performance, so that is a pretty strong signal that someone other than me thought he did well.

I think Bob Murphy does a good job as well so please don't misunderstand what I am saying.

I hope we can generate 1000s of Murphy's and D'Amico's over the next 25 years.

BTW, the Murphy clip from last night can be seen here:

And yes the Judge does refer to Bob as one of the great freedom fighters we have working today.

I realize that you are not the only one responsible for that media explosion, Pete, but you had a WHOLE LOT to do with it. Congratulations for that.

Now, if we can only get on media that isn't oriented to conservative and libertarian viewers. Such viewers enjoy hearing their priors confirmed; but their opinions won't be altered much by hearing more about the damage done by interventionist policies and the benefits of competition.

It's the same story as in w.r.t. Austrian-school scholarly writing: too many articles aimed at Austrian readers, or at least at Austrian outlets; too few aimed at those economists who need to hear the perspective most. The lower rungs of the ladder are more crowded than ever. Eureka! But there are still few volunteers willing to climb over the top and into no-man's land.

"too few aimed at those economists who need to hear the perspective most."

What, those economists do not understand plane English? There are ladders that are simply not worth climbing. There is no more lack of available information or even exposure to the Austrian perspective at all flavors and at all levels. Austrians have taken the drivers seat in that department. Those that "need to hear the perspective the most" are deaf by choice.

Where is the "I like" button for Selgin's comment? I like the ladder metaphor, and I hope there will be many more climbers in the future.

I just wonder what kind of curious cognitive bias impels conservatives to preach libertarian economic policies and practise interventionism.

Dan: this is not my experience. When I talk with professional economists about Austrian economics they have scientific criticisms of its basic tenets, not ideological commitment to socialism.

Some of these critiques are easy to answer, although most economists don't know about the answer. Other arguments are not. I don't blame economists if they don't get, for instance, the exact theoretical relation between monetary policy and malinvestment in Austrian economics, because after having read almost all of the related literature more than once I still think there are missing pieces.

I don't consider Austrian business cycle theory a finished product ready to be sold on consumer markets. It is just less tragically unsatisfactory, and much less harmful from a policy perspective, than standard macroeconomics.


First, how can they have "scientific criticisms of its basic tenets" if they are not very familiar with its basic tenets in the first place?

Second, I never claimed that they must have "ideological commitment to socialism", although, I think it would be correct to say that to some degree, most economists, other then the few who reject all forms of government intervention, must have some ideological commitment to socialism. To some degree at least.

Third, I don't get it. What do you mean "I don't blame economists if they don't get it...." Then who do you blame? It takes a great amount of effort to "get it". It takes even more effort to let go of bad ideas that are at the heart of every academic paper they've submitted over the past 25 years. That's basically the implication of "getting it" for many of these economists. It ain't gonna happen. The hope is in the future. Not the past.

In my experience, most economists simply don't know what they should know about their subjects. For instance, I have several perfectly sincere and intelligent colleagues who teach their students perfect clap-trap about the Fed and central banking generally, because that's what they've read in some idiotic textbooks. (Most textbooks are of course idiotic.) They aren't hopeless. They just need educatin'. Which to me means that many Austrians ought better to use of their time by talking (nicely) to non-Austrians, than remain locked in the fucking circle-jerk that presently makes up 99.9% of the movement. (I will let you all fight about just where that .1% is happening).

There: have I expressed myself sufficiently clearly now?

Libertarianism in general needs an extensive public relations campaign. A total image revamp. Just one little part of this is exposing the public more to Austrian and other libertarian oriented economists.


You are preaching to the choir here, but I also you update your priors about where we are publishing. Dan D'Amico just got a paper accepted in one of the top criminal justice journals, Adam Martin published in Cambridge Journal of Economics, Dave Skarbeck published in JLEO, etc. These were all work from recent PhD work at GMU. These guys are not just talking to each other. Claudia Williamson just got a paper in J Law & Econ. Works are coming out in JEBO, APSJ, Rat & Soc, Journal of Institutional Econ, etc. Let alone places like SEJ, or EI.

Obviously, we want to be in AER, JPE, and QJE.

Follow up --- do you follow RePC rankings of journals, etc. How about SSRN rankings of economists? It is not about measurement for measurement, it is about the empirical record on your assertion. You make an empirical claim which demand empirical analysis. Not continued speculations about everyone being stuck in a rut at the bottom of a professional ladder.

"First, how can they have "scientific criticisms of its basic tenets" if they are not very familiar with its basic tenets in the first place?"

Most economists read Hayek. Without the eyeglasses of market process and economic calculation theories, they read it wrongly, but they read him.

Most economists know about Menger and Mises's theories of the origin of money. Kiyotaki and Wright know them well enough to cite them properly, something that doesn't happen for instance for economic calculation theory.

There is surely a non-negligible minority of economists who know AE quite professionally. Rosen paper on the gains from trade between AE and the rest of the world is well written and proves a very good knowledge of the issues. References to Hayek by Grossman and Stiglitz are way less satisfactory, I even sometimes wonder what they read in Hayek that I don't.

The conclusion is that there are many things economists know about AE, but some of what they know is distorted by wrong or irrelevant priors. One example is the debate between Kirzner and Hurwicz (Cato JOurnal, around 1985), in which Hurwicz didn't know what Kirzner was talking about. But it was 25 years ago. Now papers like Diamond's and Rajan's on liquidity and the Fed show that at least some element of ABCT is widely known.

Everybody knows ABCT, at least in its media "hydraulic" version. Many have tried to read Hayek, at least "Prices and Production" which is quite famous. I say "tried" because understanding Hayek often causes headache because of his fuzzy writing.

"What do you mean "I don't blame economists if they don't get it...." Then who do you blame?"

I blame everybody from Mises to myself (ihih) in not finding an argument as logically and practically compelling as Mises's theory of economic calculation to justify the real effects of monetary non-neutrality. I don't really blame anyone, in truth, but I believe that there is work to be done, and most "amateur" Austrians just prefer to claim they know the final and absolute truth. I had some problems with these Austrian priests in many debates in my country, but they often come out also in the comment threats of most Austrian blogs.

"It takes even more effort to let go of bad ideas that are at the heart of every academic paper they've submitted over the past 25 years."

Yes, there is surely lots of irrelevant, wrong, spurious and dangerous stuff to criticize, from the notion of efficiency to Walrasian market (un-)process theory. My standard answer when I'm asked about efficiency is "who the h**l care about efficiency?", but I don't know why it's not taken seriously.

George's criticism regarding Fox News (I think Pete answered the journal issue well enough) is valid only if 1) all viewers are conservatives/libertarians, and 2) all viewers are familiar with and agree with Austrian economics. Neither of these are even remotely true. Thus, the presence of Austrian economists on Fox News is of great benefit to Austrian economics. It may also be valid if people who appear on Fox News never appear on any other news outlet, but this is also untrue (we will see if it is so with the Austrian economists who have appeared -- or has Steve Horwitz already broken that barrier? I believe he has).

We should celebrate this surge in interest in what Austrian economists have to say.

Heck, if the Judge needs someone to talk about culture and the arts from an Austro-libertarian perspective, I hope someone gives him my number! :-)

In response to Pete's comments, I (1) amend my figure to 95.5% and (2) acknowledge that the lion's share of that .5% is thanks to his students.

Nor do I say that Austrians' presence on Fox news etc. is not productive. I only say that it alone won't suffice to get change happening within the profession were it is so desperately needed. The question is, were to invest at the margin? I say: in more and better scholarship. The instant satisfaction and public recognition that come with media appearances etc., and the relative easiness of engaging in such as opposed to fighting one's way into a hard journal, are, I fear, causing too many potentially good researchers to simply opt out of the latter challenge to bask in "McGlory."

Scholars are humans too, and that means that many will want to do what the popular kids are doing. More, it is going to expose a lot of future scholars to Austrian ideas, which will open up the field in the next generation of scholars. Popularity is a good thing.

Completely agree. And as a 'constitutional rule' personally I try to say no to everything that isn't academic market enhancing for our group. I don't always succeed, and I don't do that good of a job when I do public appearances on tv. But after WSJ article, I didn't accept the TV and radio requests that followed, but instead pointed them to others, e.g., Steve, who is better.

Next week though I am doing a podcast on Mises.

I'll be on Fox Business News in the 4PM ET hour today.

I think a multi-pronged approach is called for. We need more scholarhsip, but also more marketing of our ideas. We are trying to influence the profession and also the broader public. The latter depends on the former. Scholars will stick to their comparative advantage. Not everyone must do equal quantities of both.

I think Austrian economists can do a much better job of extending to business schools. There are quite a few economists and even more people from other areas that rely heavily on economics that might welcome and would benefit greatly from an injection of AE. I reached this Blog through And find the discussions here fascinating.

An example from (, "Recently, I’ve argued that most people aren’t serious about small government and that limited government rhetoric is more about self-image than policy. In this post, I’d like to expand on the sociology of small government theory. I’ll argue that small government faces some massive obstacles:"

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