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Econ 101: A Crash Course in Economics Blogs

 by Lisa Gulya


Tags: Media, new media, blogosphere, blogging, economics, development, Cato Institute, Wal-Mart, media criticism, The American Prospect,

Economics booksEveryone seems to be watching the economy a little more closely, whether they're most concerned about the foreclosure crisis, credit card debt, or paying for college. Media coverage often misses the boat on these complex issues, but lively economics blogs have stepped in to fill the void, delving into politics and media criticism while deciphering the latest research. Here are a few to get you started:

Dean Baker, codirector of the Center for Economic and Policy Research, criticizes and clarifies the media’s economic coverage at the American Prospect's Beat the Press blog. 

Brad DeLong, a professor at the University of California–Berkeley, writes Grasping Reality with Both Hands, where he frequently corrects errors in economic and political reporting under the not-so-subtle heading “[Publication Name] Death Spiral Watch."

Marginal Revolution, an oft-updated site maintained by George Mason University economics professors Tyler Cowen and Alex Tabarrok, appears on DeLong's helpful list of recommended econ blogs. Last week, Tabarrok posted an in-depth critique of the latest "math wars" study that questioned the existence of a math ability gap between boys and girls, attracting dozens of responses about sexism and former Harvard President Larry Summers' 2005 imbroglio over sex and scientific ability.

Another pair of George Mason economists, Donald Boudreaux and Russell Roberts, author the more conservative Cafe Hayek, which can be refreshing in challenging such conventional wisdom as the evils of Wal-Mart or off-shore drilling

At The Fly Bottle, Cato Institute research fellow Will Wilkinson offers a center-right view of economics, from critiquing global-warming alarmism to questioning the benefit of the minimum-wage hike. 

Dani Rodrik is a Harvard professor who blogs (infrequently, but quite readably) about globalization and economic development. For a more regular feed, Rodrik recommends Yale political scientist Chris Blattman's economic development blog.

Image by genericface, licensed under Creative Commons.