The Rise of the Economics Underdogs

Published on Real-World Economic Review Blog, by Norbert Haering, April 28, 2010.

No economist saw the crisis coming? But some did, and the Real-World Economics Review Blog has announced a prize for the best doom-mongers. To decide who should get it, Internet users can vote online.

The question of which representatives of the economic profession deserve the biggest blame for the Great Financial Crisis, has already been resolved: Alan Greenspan, Milton Freedman and Larry Summers. Now the alternative economists from the network for post-autistic economics want to show that many economists have warned of the crisis. Only no one with the power to do anything has paid attention, because those who warned did not belong to the mainstream. 

Those economists off the mainstream now want to draw attention to the early warners within their ranks and show that the crisis could have been averted if they had been listened to. For that purpose they have organized a vote on the blog website of the online journal Real World Economic Review to determine three economists who should get the Revere Award for economics.

The name refers to the U.S. folk hero Paul Revere, who warned the rebels in the American War of Independence against the approaching British troops. The editor of the alternative Internet journal Real World Economic Review, the British economist Edward Fullbrook, explains that the purpose of the undoped prize “is to draw public attention to the wise people who have proven that they can recognize crisis signals and whose work can help avert the next crisis.”

The frontrunner of the twelve economists, selected for the shortlist by the organizers after a public proposal process, is currently Australian economist Steve Keen, just ahead of Ann Pettifor, Dean Baker and Nouriel Roubini. Keen dedicated a Website in 2005 to warning of an impending credit crunch … //

… sign up and vote. (full text).

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