The Journal I'd Most Want to Edit
By Bryan Caplan
I think Sumner’s being tongue-in-check, but here’s his genuinely good idea for a new journal:
Most economists obviously disagree with me. The top economists are
constantly making predictions that violate the EMH. OK, then why not
set up a new journal, the Journal of Economic Predictions.
Each month they would publish 25 to 30 short predictions about the
economy or asset prices. After 30 years we’d have 10,000 predictions,
a pretty good track record of whether economists actually had the
ability to make useful predictions. Those who think my skepticism is
misplaced could set up a mutual fund that invested a little bit of
money on the basis of each JEP prediction. With so many predictions it
would be highly diversified. If economists’ predictions are superior
to dart tossing, then the mutual fund would outperform index funds.
Yesterday my colleague Dan Klein presented a new paper on the importance of the allegory of communication in economics. My main objection: Comparing market prices to communication is unfair to market prices. Much, if not most, “communication” is fruitless blather. A Journal of Economic Predictions, in contrast, would be news we could use.