Paul “I’m not Galbraith” disses Larry “I’m not Krugman” Summers

by Andrew Gelman on January 22, 2013 · 5 comments

in Academia,Media,Political Economy

The celebrated economist and pundit writes:

Mark Thoma is puzzled: if Larry Summers is going to write a piece about how we’re obsessing too much about the deficit, why begin with two paragraphs about how the deficit is a big problem?

But there’s no mystery: that’s the INK disclaimer — I’m Not Krugman. It’s supposed to establish Larry’s bona fides as a Serious Person, appeasing the deficit scolds so that he can get on with the substance of his argument.

I’m not saying that Krugman is wrong, here, but not so many years ago he was the Very Serious Person, explaining to the world that John Kenneth Galbraith was a mere “celebrity economist . . . never been taken seriously by his academic colleagues.”

P.S. More on Krugman and Galbraith here, from Henry Farrell.

{ 5 comments }

RobC January 22, 2013 at 4:59 pm

Watching Krugman and Summers engage in intellectual fisticuffs brings to mind Henry Kissinger’s comment on the Iran-Iraq War: “Pity they both can’t lose.”

nick January 22, 2013 at 7:40 pm

Did anyone know that Krugman was an economist until he got the NP?

Owe February 7, 2013 at 5:03 am

Well, his model of currency crisis (published about 1979) is taught in every class on financial economics, so you might say that people who care about economics know about him for about 35 years.

Scott Monje January 22, 2013 at 11:13 pm

He’s not dissing Summers. He’s dissing the deficit scolds.

Keith M Ellis February 4, 2013 at 7:57 pm

“Did anyone know that Krugman was an economist until he got the NP?”

What? Well, I suppose this is true of most of those for whom his NYT column was their first introduction to him. I don’t really know why they’d count, though. He’s been pretty well-known and respected at least since he won the John Bates Clark medal, which is quite significant.

I guess this is an annoyance of mine — I’ve read Krugman since the mid-nineties and his popular reputation since his speaking-truth-to-power against the Bush admin is … distorted and weird, both on the left and right.

Comments on this entry are closed.

Previous post:

Next post: