Six years ago, I asked this question, and noted that it was primarily economists who had served a stint in government. Still, it was a pretty rarified group; now it’s less so.
Now, why one would care about the distinction between those who had served in government/policy positions versus those that hadn’t is that the former have institutional knowledge that pretty much only comes from service. That being said, the downside might be that they are more partisan in nature; I’ll leave readers to judge.
First, who was around in November 2007?
- David Altig (former vp, Cleveland Fed; now evp, Atlanta Fed) Macroblog
- Stan Collender (House budget cmte) Capital Gains and Games
- Brad Delong (former DAS, Treasury) eponymous
- Tim Duy (former economist, Treasury) Fed Watch
- Arnold Kling (economist, Federal Reserve Board) askblog
- Paul Krugman (former economist, CEA) Conscience of a Liberal
- Greg Mankiw (former Chair, CEA) eponymous
- Nouriel Roubini (former sr economist, CEA; former adviser to Treasury) eponymous
- Andy Samwick (former chief of staff, CEA) VoxBaby, Capital Gains and Games, now eponymous)
- Brad Setser (former economist, Treasury; now DAS, Treasury) eponymous
What about now. Well, this question is a little harder to answer, as the lines between blogging and institutional outlets like columns have diminished (consider for instance the IMF, NY Fed blogs and compare against say FedViews). So, here I’ll tabulate stand-alone or semi-autonomous blogs (so I omit CBO blog, CEA blog, etc); and because I can’t cover the entire world, I focus on US government service:
- Bruce Bartlett (former DAS, Treasury) Economix
- Jared Bernstein (former adviser to VP) On the Economy
- Jeff Frankel (former member, CEA) eponymous
- Joe Gagnon (former sr economist, Fed) Peterson IIE RealTime Economic Issues Blog
- Keith Hennesey (former director, NEC) eponymous
- Robert Kahn (former sr economist, CEA; Fed; Treasury) Macro and Markets
- Peter G. Klein (former sr economist, CEA) Organizations and Markets
- Diane Lim (former sr economist, CEA) now lapsed Economist Mom, now at Pew
- Phill Swagel (former chief of staff, CEA; AS, Treasury) Economix
- Laura D’Andrea Tyson (former chair, CEA) Economix
- Karl Whelan (former economist, Fed) eponymous
For the sake of conciseness, I’ve omitted bloggers who served in the multilateral institutions like the IMF, including Simon Johnson (former chief economist, IMF), contributor to Baseline Scenario, andRaghu Rajan (former chief economist, IMF, now head of Reserve Bank of India).
A few random observations:
There is some amount of “churn”, with some bloggers entering and some leaving (Roubini is behind a paywall, Setser is in the government, Lim came and went within the space of five years). Still there is remarkable continuity. For a similar story, see Felix Salmon’s post about the finance blogosphere. (By the way, Salmon’s depiction of the econoblogosphere is still a classic, yet to be matched). The entry of substantial numbers of bloggers, some associated with mainstream media (e.g., Economix) suggests to me a greater legitimacy ascribed to bloggers (a similar phenomenon shows up for academic blogs).
One interesting point is that the bloggers with policy experience seem to have a better grasp on what data are out there, and what they mean — or don’t mean. In other words, you have to know what you don’t know, before you can comment intelligently.
This piece is cross-posted from Econbrowser with permission.