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A Comment on Daniel Klein's "A Plea to Economists Who Favor Liberty."


  • Gordon Tullock

    () (James M. Buchanan Center for Political Economy, George Mason University)


Economists can to some extent enlighten policymakers and the public and influence public policy. That enlightenment is achieved more by concrete policy work and application of basics than by fancy models and fancy statistical significance. There is a trade-off between relevance/importance and rigor/precision. Because many economists concentrate on rigor and precision, their influence in public affairs is not as good as it could be. The professional emphasis on scholastic crafts forsakes the Smithian character of political economy. A more Smithian character for the economics profession would lead to better government policy. The primary article by Daniel B. Klein is followed by comments by Gordon Tullock, Deirdre McCloskey, Israel M. Kirzner, C.A.E. Goodhart, Robert H. Frank and James K. Galbraith and a rejoinder by Daniel B. Klein.

Suggested Citation

  • Gordon Tullock, 2001. "A Comment on Daniel Klein's "A Plea to Economists Who Favor Liberty."," Eastern Economic Journal, Eastern Economic Association, vol. 27(2), pages 203-207, Spring.
  • Handle: RePEc:eej:eeconj:v:27:y:2001:i:2:p:203-207

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Card, David & Krueger, Alan B, 1994. "Minimum Wages and Employment: A Case Study of the Fast-Food Industry in New Jersey and Pennsylvania," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(4), pages 772-793, September.
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    Cited by:

    1. Shaar, Karam & Baharumshah, Ahmad Zubaidi, 2016. "US-China trade: Who is telling the truth?," Working Paper Series 5146, Victoria University of Wellington, School of Economics and Finance.

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    JEL classification:

    • A11 - General Economics and Teaching - - General Economics - - - Role of Economics; Role of Economists
    • A13 - General Economics and Teaching - - General Economics - - - Relation of Economics to Social Values
    • H00 - Public Economics - - General - - - General


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