Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Awesome Debate

The Economist is hosting an Oxford style online debate about macroeconomics. They put out the proposition "This house believes we are all Keynesians now," and the statement is supported by one (liberal) economist, Brad Delong of UCLA, and opposed by (conservative) University of Chicago economist Luis Zingales. Other well-known economists are invited to provide context & commentary.

I've been following the online debate via blogs and editorial columns for a while. The understanding is (basically) that the stimulus package is pure (liberal) Keynesianism and conservative economists are arguing that it's pure garbage, that Keynes' theories were discredited 40 years ago. (Some of the conservative economists' arguments haven't held much water because they are using 18th century arguments that don't jive with what we teach in Econ 101).

In reality, it's more complicated than that. Allan Metzler argues that Keynes would not have supported the massive deficits the U.S. is running and would not have supported the stimulus package.

Overall, the debate is a great idea and very fun.

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