Economics Blogging Tips From Leigh Caldwell

Economics Blogging Tips From Leigh Caldwell

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Responding to the success of our blogging article in our 2019 INOMICS Handbook – for those of you unacquainted, click here – the economists are back, answering more blog-oriented questions. This time around, we’ve taken a bit of a personal turn, quizzing our participants about their blogging successes; the concepts behind their writings; and their preferred reads. For those setting out on their economic journey, the following makes for essential reading


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Introducing Leigh

Introducing the esteemed Mr Leigh Caldwell….

If forced to pick, which blog article would you say you are most proud of? And, in addition to that, which has created the most ‘buzz’, not necessarily just in terms of reads, but in the conversations it started?

I think my personal favourites are the series of posts in which I lay out my core ideas about cognitive economics. Cognitive economics studies how individuals make economic decisions based on what’s going on in their heads - primarily through an individual’s imagination, empathy and beliefs. Looking at my series posts, such as, ‘Introducing System 3: How we use our imagination to make choices’,’ Neuroscience, psychology and economics: the evidence for System 3 (long)’ and 'Lassie died one night', would give a reader a great insight into cognitive economics.

The blog that got the most attention, however, was probably this one, 'Behavioural economics: the Kylie Minogue of market research' - I think people in the market research industry found it amusing. Finally, I would like to hope that 'The gender pay gap on Euristica: an imaginary island' (accompanied by a video of my TEDx talk) has also had a positive impact.

This one is for the economic-blog enthusiasts out there. Which fellow (rival?!) bloggers are you currently reading? And whose blogs would you recommend as essential for our readers to follow?

I don't see them as rivals at all! My current favourites are Steve Randy Waldman's blog, Interfluidity: he doesn't post too often but when he does, his articles get straight to the heart of complicated, deep topics. Miles Kimball's blog, Confessions of a Supply-Side Liberal is also commendable, often containing insights into cognitive economics - my core focus. If you are looking for funny and penetrative, check out Chris Dillow's blog, Stumbling and Mumbling. His blog is aligned mostly to the left of British politics, but not dogmatically so.

A further recommendation would be Frances Coppola's blog, Coppola Comment, which typically contains well-informed comment pieces on business and economics from the perspective of a (reformed) banker. Coppola's is also one of the few popular blogs by female economists - I really hope we'll see more in the future. Others female economist bloggers worth checking out are Carola Binder, Frances Woolley and Jodi Beggs.

And finally, can you give, in under 100 words, a description of your blog, and tell the people why they should visit it?

My blog, Knowing and Making, covers cognitive economics: a new field of economics that studies the mental and emotional outcomes that people pursue, not just the material and financial goods of traditional economic theory. I write about the latest findings in this field, its applications to business and politics, and related areas such as behavioural economics.

Cognitive economics allows us to better understand human psychology, why we care about things that are all in our (or other people's) heads and how we make economic decisions based on these beliefs. If you think traditional economics is too limited, lacks an interdisciplinary approach or you want to find out more about events and conferences happening around cognitive economics, please come and have a look.

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