Thoughts on Econ Blogging
Two and a half months in, a time to review
I wanted to put a few thoughts down
It would be un-economist-like of me not to share with you first the numbers. As of this writing, I'm at 6517 pageviews, 76 posts, 31 comments, and 2 major links-to. Not bad, I think, for a high school kid who is just doing this for fun, his own educational ends, and perhaps a bit of self-indulgent conceit that someone would find me worth reading.
I've found this blogging effort, in short, to be the most valuable thing I've ever done to further my knowledge and ability to communicate in economics. In fact, I'd encourage any student, in high school or college, who was serious about advancing their analysis to start blogging.
Since I started blogging, the increase in actual time that I've put into economics has increased only by a small amount -- maybe an hour a week. But there have been seemingly huge gains have been in learning productivity. What do I think is causing this? Knowing that I'm going to write every day makes me read better, although I am reading a little less. (I wandered the econ blogosphere to no real constructive end before.) Then the writing and analysis has required me to consolidate, apply, synthesize, and theorize.
There's also an element of internal pressure to refine and bolster my arguments which comes from the fact that I am publishing for all the world to (potentially) see. It's probably the best kind of pressure -- get it right, and be fair -- and it's forced me to "go back to the drawing board" on a number of fronts in my knowledge of economics. Even if I turn out to be wrong on some views and conclusions, as I most certainly will, what will matter to me some time from now is how I thought things out and how my thinking itself improved.
If you've just started reading the blog, here's a quick rundown of what I consider to be my "greatest hits," the writings I think argue most strongly, break new ground, or those I simply like most, in chronological order:
- "Advice for the Taxman," Jan. 3: How to boost revenue in an era of deficits
- "What the Left Gets Right," Jan. 16: Examining the strengths and weaknesses of modern liberalism
- "Wanted: Good Monetary Policy," Jan. 18: The disproportionate consequences of untimely contraction
- "Year of the Bear?" Jan. 23: Demographic dividend, transition, and economics
- "Equality, but of What?" Feb. 3: The econoblogosphere erupts!
- "Stimulating Discussions," Feb. 13: Good and bad times to call for spending or tax cuts
- "The Productivity Growth Paradox," Feb. 16: Looking at the Great Depression and the Solow residual
- "Potential Insights," Mar. 5: Towards a new theory of recessions?
- "Monetary Anarchy in the UK," Mar. 11: Has the Bank of England gone off its de facto NGDP target?
- "On Target" and "Redux", Mar. 16: Generalizing some monetary policy rules
So now I solicit the feedback of you, the blog reader: what would you like to see me write about and research in the coming months? What am I doing well or poorly?