Rodrik on Blogging and Lemons
By Arnold Kling
if economists with high opportunity costs of time start to get out, shall we have a lemons problem on our hands? Will eventually the only prolific bloggers remain the ones that are not worth reading?
It takes enormous patience to publish in journals. The lag time is even longer than with writing a book, if you think about getting rejected at a couple of places, waiting months for referees’ reports, revising and resubmitting, getting onto the publication schedule, and so forth.
Are those of us who lack the patience to plug away at getting journal articles published not worth reading? The traditional academic viewpoint would be “yes.” If you don’t have a long publication list in journals, then you are a lemon.
Incidentally, I’m in the middle of reading Rodrik’s new book, and I’m liking it more than you might expect. He is very eclectic in terms of his ideas, so that you could almost describe him as advocating industrial policy with an Austrian slant.
That is, he likes government-sponsored industrial policy, but he keeps emphasizing that the way to make such policy work is to ensure that the industrial policy generates lots of experiments and the failures are readily discarded. From my Masonomist perspective, it’s like arguing that cats are great as long as you can teach them to bark. But I’ll probably have a longer review when I finish the book.
UPDATE: Rodrik quickly changes his mind.