Posts Tagged ‘Thomas K McCraw’

Economists — the popular and not-so-popular

December 3, 2007

Brad DeLong reviews McCraw’s biography of Schumpeter for the Chronicle of Higher Education (via A&L Daily). Here is the first paragraph of the review:

My guess is that average literate Americans know of three 20th-century economists: John Maynard Keynes, Milton Friedman, and Alan Greenspan. Perhaps they also know of Paul Samuelson (but as textbook author, not economic theorist), of Friedrich Hayek (but think that he is the father of an actress), and of John Kenneth Galbraith (as William F. Buckley Jr.’s friend who appeared on TV). The rest of us disappear into a blur of gray suits, spectacles, and, usually, baldness — an assemblage of personalities too bland to be successful accountants.

That reminded me of an article in Financial Times by John Kay which tried to answer the question as to which economists leave lasting legacies and why. By the way, DeLong also discusses something akin to that question in his review with specific reference to Schumpeter:

Back in 1970, the economist Harry G. Johnson pointed out that all successful founders of schools not only are geniuses with profound insights but also provide a road map that tells their followers and successors what to do to make a successful academic career within the school. Schumpeter did not do that second part.

A nice review. Take a look!

Before I end this post, here are a couple of links to what Tyler Cowen and Economic Principals had to say about the book.