New and Exciting Economics
By Arnold Kling
what is the most interesting work in the economics profession today?
He gives a few answers, one of which is World Bank data on corruption and governance. I would broaden that to political economy and institutional economics in general, including Bryan’s book. Incidentally, my vote for the book title would be Myth of the Rational Voter, which is more straightforward and less insider-ish than the others. Still, I think it needs a subtitle that conveys the important point, which is that the incentives for good policies are weak. Maybe a subtitle like: why it’s easy for bad policies to win support.
I think that work on intellectual property will be important, although perhaps there is not enough that merits being called new and exciting.
I think that some of the stuff that Bob Hall is pushing on employment dynamics has potential to merit a Nobel Prize if it continues to develop and gets broad empirical support.
I think that economic history in general, not just the Industrial Revolution, is bringing in new and exciting perspectives. As an aside, I am working on a proposal for a seminar on the Great Depression, and I would welcome recommendations for readings on that topic in the comments.