From the survey mentioned in the previous posting comes three questions on economist’s favourite economists.
The first question:
Are there any economic thinkers who wrote prior to the twentieth century whom you regard with great respect, admiration, or reverence? If so, please list, up to three:The top three economists: (1) Adam Smith, (2) David Ricardo and (3) Alfred Marshall. Not great surprises there.
What may be more surprising is just how much Smith dominates everybody else. To get a numerical ranking the authors awarded Smith six points, Ricardo five points, and Marshall four points. On this ranking Smith got more than 1200 points (1265) with Ricardo getting least than half that (520) and Marshall just 329points.
The second question:
Are there any economic thinkers of the twentieth century and now deceased whom you regard with great respect, admiration, or reverence? If so, please list, up to three:The top three economists: (1) John Maynard Keynes, (2) Milton Friedman and (3) Paul Samuelson. Here, Keynes would get six points, Friedman five points, and Samuelson four points.
The points for the top three are: Keynes 726, Friedman 654 and Samuelson 460. So Keynes and Friedman are well ahead of Samuelson. Hayek came in fourth, but well back on only 219 points.
I’m not sure I would rank Samuelson that high. I would go for Hayek above him and I really don’t see how J. K. Galbraith got to 6th on the list!!
The third and last question:
Are there any economic thinkers alive today over the age of 60/under the age of 60 whom you regard with great respect, admiration, or reverence? If so, please list, up to three:The top three in each group: Economist over the age of 60: (1) Gary Becker, (2) Kenneth Arrow and (3) Robert Solow. Economist under the age of 60: (1) Paul Krugman, (2) Greg Mankiw and (3) Daron Acemoglu.
The Becker/Arrow/Solow grouping makes some sense, although for me I would put Coase at number 1 for this group. He came in 4th. Tullock got to 19th. John Nash is 13th on the list and he's not even an economist. What about Bengt Holmström, Oliver Williamson or Oliver Hart? None of then even make it to the list.
As to the Krugman/Mankiw/Acemoglu group. This I really don’t get. Ok may be Acemoglu makes sense but Krugman and Mankiw at (1) and (2)? Not for me. What about Jean Tirole, Andrei Shleifer or Kevin M. Murphy?