Evan Soltas
Mar 18, 2012

Thoughts on Econ Blogging

Two and a half months in, a time to review


I wanted to put a few thoughts down on paper on the blog about how blogging has been going for me. I'll try to keep this post a short enough read, since I'm only two and a half months into this adventure, and if you want, above I've embedded one of my favorite pieces by Dario Marianelli from the movie soundtrack of "Atonement," adapted from the Ian McEwan book of the same name.

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 should naturally thank Tyler Cowen and Scott Sumner at this point, both of whose attention has helped me get this far.

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:

There's a lot of stuff I had to leave out, so refer to the archive on the right sidebar if these whet your appetite.

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?