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You'll be happy to know that we spent some time in my history of thought class tonight talking about the Smithian roots of Buchanan's work.

Unfortunately, you won't be happy to know we spent even more time talking about the Smithian roots of Krugman's work... but we were in Book IV for most of the evening, so that makes sense.

The first two are Nobel laureates, that's prestigious company. Speaking of which, any thoughts on the recent prize to those Minnesotans?

I am always puzzled when proponents of neoclassical economics champion Frank Knight as their leader and teacher, especially when it is observed that his personal writings were so very critical of this "theory." See here:


As this astute post notes, Frank Knight has done more than any other economist to question this author's faith in free markets, and I am inclined to agree.

While Sargent and Sims spent time at Minnesota, they are to Minnesota sort of what Buchanan is to Chicago, devotees of the "old Minnesota." While many identify Sargent in particular as a leading exponent of rational expectations, he stopped believing in it over 20 years ago. In many ways this prize is one for bounded rationality, with Sargent authoring a book with that in its title nearly 20 years ago, and Sims's "rational inattention" clearly being a form of bounded rationality.

Oh, and congrats to Jim and the editors for the special issue in JEBO (of which I am not the editor anymore).

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