Showing posts from March, 2014

Notes on Economic(al) Writing

As the school year began, I started to outline a basic handbook for writing within economics. That process was interrupted by life, yet I still consider the handbook a valuable endeavor for my students and for others interested in how thinkers transmit the ideas in this field.

What are the rhetorical traditions within economics? How are these traditions shaped by other disciplines? How has the shift within economics from philosophy towards mathematical models ("science") altered the rhetoric of economists? How effective are the works of economists and scholars interested in economics?

It seems to me, and this is not based on quantitative research, that only a few economists remain influential beyond the academic realm. Yes, there are economists advising political leaders, but how effective are they as economists — versus their effectiveness as ideologues?

Helping students communicate effectively might, or might not, improve policy debates. Economists of great note were …