Monday, November 26, 2007

My ideal

Someone once said the following about David Ricardo, the great classical economist, who developed all kinds of remarkable insights without any formal economic tools. (An example is what we now call Ricardian equivalence with respect to budget policy, an idea he both expressed and saw the problems with, in a couple of throwaway paragraphs, nearly two centuries before anyone else wrote about it.)

Anyway, this individual compared Ricardo to the guy you see at the end of a tough mountain climb, when you've gotten there with tons of special gear and burkah helpers, who you find out has ascended before you with nothing but a T-shirt, shorts, and sneakers.

That's my ideal in academic work, though I certainly make no pretense of comparability.

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