IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/a/ejw/journl/v5y2008i1p109-133.html
   My bibliography  Save this article

Left Out: A Critique of Paul Krugman Based on a Comprehensive Account of His New York Times Columns, 1997 through 2006

Author

Listed:
  • Daniel B. Klein
  • Harika Anna Barlett

Abstract

We have made a complete review of Krugman’s New York Times columns 1997 through 2006—in all, 654 columns. The pattern of policy positions and arguments do not square with his purported concern for general prosperity and the interests of the poor. Some of the evidence lies in statements made. But the more important evidence lies in patterns of statements not made. Because Krugman assumes the role of addressing the most important things, because our account is comprehensive, and because the omissions are flagrant, we may treat omissions as evidence of Krugman’s ideological character and sensibilities. Krugman is best interpreted as a committed social democrat and Democratic partisan. Our main contention is that his social-democratic bent sometimes trumps people’s interests, notably poor people’s interests. The tension surfaces in what Krugman has written about immigration and the threat it poses to the US welfare state. But the tension is found in his writings on several topics, and, importantly, in omissions in his writings. Krugman has only rarely come out against extant government interventions, even ones that expert economists seem to agree are bad, especially for the poor. If Krugman would admit that, to some extent, he is ready to sacrifice poor people’s interests for the sake of advancing social-democratic values, then he has to admit conflict between relevant values and give up posturing to the effect that he has been a voice of unbiased research and has stood above any ideological interpretation of public affairs.

Suggested Citation

  • Daniel B. Klein & Harika Anna Barlett, 2008. "Left Out: A Critique of Paul Krugman Based on a Comprehensive Account of His New York Times Columns, 1997 through 2006," Econ Journal Watch, Econ Journal Watch, vol. 5(1), pages 109-133, January.
  • Handle: RePEc:ejw:journl:v:5:y:2008:i:1:p:109-133
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: https://econjwatch.org/file_download/306/ejw_ci_jan08_kleinbarlett.pdf?mimetype=pdf
    Download Restriction: no

    File URL: https://econjwatch.org/403
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Armen A. Alchian, 1950. "Uncertainty, Evolution, and Economic Theory," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 58, pages 211-211.
    2. Klein, Daniel, 2004. "The People’s Romance: Why People Love Government (as much as they do)," Ratio Working Papers 31, The Ratio Institute, revised 11 May 2005.
    3. Bryan Caplan, 2007. "Introduction to The Myth of the Rational Voter: Why Democracies Choose Bad Policies," Introductory Chapters,in: The Myth of the Rational Voter: Why Democracies Choose Bad Policies Princeton University Press.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Brett Barkley, 2010. "When the White House Changes Party, Do Economists Change Their Tune on Budget Deficits?," Econ Journal Watch, Econ Journal Watch, vol. 7(2), pages 119-156, May.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Paul Krugman; ideology; intervention; liberalization; social democracy;

    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

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:ejw:journl:v:5:y:2008:i:1:p:109-133. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Jason Briggeman). General contact details of provider: http://edirc.repec.org/data/edgmuus.html .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.