Bruce Bartlett

Going over to the right side of the political spectrum, I enjoy a website maintained by my friend Don Luskin (www.poorandstupid.com). He is the self-appointed watchdog of Paul Krugman. Every time Krugman publishes a column or appears on television, I can depend on Don to dissect it within hours, point out errors of fact, and note critical details left out and Krugman's undisclosed biases. For example, Luskin noted that when Krugman attacked the administration's policy toward Enron, he never disclosed that he had been a consultant to the scandal-plagued company, about which he even wrote a puff piece in Fortune Magazine.

Another economic blogger is Steve Antler, a professor at Roosevelt University in Chicago and the owner of a furniture manufacturing business (www.econopundit.com). He combines real-world experience with technical economics. One thing Antler does that I find particularly interesting is that he subjects common economic claims about things like the relationship between economic growth and employment to rigorous econometric analysis. I turned him on to the Fair Model, a publicly available econometric model maintained by Yale economist Ray Fair (http://fairmodel.econ.yale.edu), and Steve has made good use of it.

Two economists at George Mason University in Virginia, Tyler Cowen and Alex Tabarrok, established a joint blog last year, in which both comment almost every day (www.marginalrevolution.com). They don't limit themselves to topical subjects or even to economics and often discuss cultural matters, history, technology and lots of other things that I probably wouldn't otherwise have any reason to read about.

A more specialized economics blog is maintained by Stephen Bainbridge, a professor of law at UCLA (www.professorbainbridge.com). He often illuminates fine points of corporate law that I find very helpful in a day when various corporate scandals seem to fill the paper daily. He also has a great love of fine wine, which he discusses frequently and knowledgably.

Two other law professors also publish blogs that often deal with current economic topics. One is by Glenn Reynolds of the University of Tennessee (www.instapundit.com) and the other is by Eugene Volokh, also of UCLA (www.volokh.com). Reynolds is widely admired for his amazing productivity -- he seems to post interesting commentary on all manner of things 24-7. Volokh is not as prolific, but compensates by having many guest bloggers who add to his site's output.

As one can see from this list, many of the blogs I now read daily are produced by academics. This is interesting because last year's list consisted mainly of those done by journalists. Now that almost every professor at a major university has a personal webpage, I expect to see more of them enter the world of blogging.


Bruce Bartlett

Bruce Bartlett is a former senior fellow with the National Center for Policy Analysis of Dallas, Texas. Bartlett is a prolific author, having published over 900 articles in national publications, and prominent magazines and published four books, including Reaganomics: Supply-Side Economics in Action.

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