unpaid thoughts on the dismal science

Friday, May 24, 2002  
I was browsing my referral log when I came across a new blog, "Shadow of the Hegemon". Excitedly, I clicked on the link. Sadly, Demosthenes, the proprietor ot SOTH, does not think too highly of me.
8:45 PM

Mathew Hoy says Krugman is right on the issue, wrong on the history.
6:54 PM

I think Krugman is at his best when talking about international trade and today's column, "America the Scofflaw", confirms that. I'll update with links to other Krugman Watch'ers as I spot them later in the day.
6:57 AM

Wednesday, May 22, 2002  
The MaxSpeak Weblog deals a seemingly crushing blow to my theory that Paul Krugman hates everyone. It's just as well since it wasn't so much a theory as a snide remark. Max claims that Krugman "[wrote] a courteous, respectful review" of The Living Wage: Building a Fair Economy by Robert Pollin and Stephanie Luce. He didn't provide a link but a little searching turned up the review.
7:54 PM

Tuesday, May 21, 2002  
Krugman Watch: Paul Krugman's latest, "Enemies of Reform", is up and guess what, Jane Galt was right! Krugman revisits the topic of accounting standards and sadly, evil Republicans are once again stopping Leviathan, uh, I mean, the Feds from enacting good, wholesome legislation. Maybe Krugman is right and reform is needed, but he doesn't spend a single sentence explaining the reform proposals in Congress or why they would be better than what we currently have. Instead, we are treated to a condemnation of evil CEO's gaming the system for their own benefit and how Senator Phil Gramm (R-TX) is holding up reform with the cooperation of the White House. What he doesn't mention is that the only Senator who has a Ph.D. in economics also opposes the reform. Why not? Probably because that economist is Phil Gramm himself!

UPDATE: Jane Galt has her Krugman Watch up.

UPDATE: A Blogger.com screw up prevented me from noticing this until just now: John Weidner's "Krugman Truth Squad #12" is up as well.

UPDATE: Matthew Hoy weighs in as well.
11:35 AM

Jane Galt hasn't read the column yet, but that hasn't stopped her from putting up a Krugman Watch Teaser. I just wish I had thought of it.
11:19 AM

Monday, May 20, 2002  
Jane Galt over at "Live from the WTC" takes on Ellen S. Miller's critique of George Will's recent column on campaign finance reform. Miller's approach is barely a notch above anecdotal evidence: she notes the campaign contributions to a variety of legislators and compares that to votes on certain bills. Ms. Galt points out a number of logic errors in Miller's piece, not the least of which is that correlation does not equal causation. Galt is too generous, though, because Miller hasn't even come close to showing a correlation since no attempt to control for other factors is made. Fortunately, someone has done the hard work of controlling for other factors and seeing if there really is a correlation. In "Do Campaign Donations Alter how a Politician Votes?", published in Journal of Law and Economics, Vol. 40, No. 2, Pp. 317-350, October 1997, Bronars and Lott address the question head on:

Despite all the work on how campaign donations influence politician's behavior, the nagging question of whether contributions alter how the politician votes or whether these contributions constitute support for like-minded individuals remains unresolved. By combining the campaign contributions literature with the work on politicians intrinsically valuing policy outcomes, we offer a simple test that examines how politicians' voting patterns change when they retire and no longer face the threat of lost campaign contributions. If contributions are causing individual politicians to vote differently, there should be systematic changes in voting behavior when future contributions are eliminated. On the other hand, if contributors donate to candidates who intrinsically value the same policies, there should be no changes in how a politician votes during the last period.
Lott writes about his and Bronars' study in a column from last year, "Do Donations Alter Votes?. His conclusion:
The data thus indicate that politicians vote according to their beliefs, and supporters are giving money to candidates who share their beliefs on important issues. A reputation for sticking to certain values is important to politicians. This is why political ads often attack policy “flip-flops” by the opponent — if a politician merely tells people what they want to hear, voters lack assurance that he will vote for and push that policy when he no longer faces reelection. Voters instead trust politicians who show a genuine passion for the issues.

11:47 AM

Sunday, May 19, 2002  
Woo hoo! My first permalink from another blogger. Robert Musil's Man Without Qualities blog has found me worthy!!! I'd e-mail him to say "thank you" but I don't see an e-mail address on his blog. :-(
1:41 PM