Is there a Top Economics Blog?

Is there a Top Economics Blog?

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Following my last post listing our favourite economics blogs, I have looked a little closer at the blogging community and who the potential contenders are for THE coveted position of top economics blog.

In order to do that, I have pulled together some of the blog rankings from around the Internet to look at how they define the number one spot. The most immediate conclusion is that there is very little crossover in methodology and next to no year-on-year comparison. This is not, however, wholly surprising, as the preferences of blogs and bloggers are, by their nature, subject to personal interest.

Diving in a little deeper the most convincing rankings seem to be the following:

J.P. Katz & Associates (Consulting Firm, USA) published their top 15 Economics and Finance Blog list in 2010, meaning that in the context of the digital world, it is a bit out of date and possibly missing some newcomers. They based their list on those blogs distinguishable by their “high quality, general interest, and usefulness.” Not quite a scientific study, but interesting none the less. They give their top spot to Economix (NY Times).

Also in 2010, Alen Mattich of the WSJ put together a strong list of his favourite blogs, commenting on the apparent merging of the blogosphere and mainstream media – with “amateur bloggers” now being published in the latter category. His number one spot goes to Marginal Revolution. He describes reading MR as “nipping into a world-class local bar, where the drinks are always perfectly mixed, the atmosphere is relaxed and civilized, while intelligent conversation and serendipity are available on tap.”

In December 2011, Constantine von Hoffman with Inc. listed his “10 Essential Economics Blogs” based on his (once again not very scientific) method (i.e. his opinion), judging blogs by their relevance to ongoing business trends.

The first instance of a, as the author calls it, “pseudo-scientific study” on economics blogs appears on, “Suitpossum” by Brett Scott.  Included in his methodology were: position in other reputable rankings and appearances in other bloggers’ blogrolls. Each blog received points through his 3 rounds of data collection and were then ranked on the number of points received in each round. His number one spot went to Bill McBride’sCalculated Risk. This ranking appeared in Jan 2013, so if Brett publishes it again next year, it would be a rare example of a year on year comparison of top blogs.

Other sources list their top X number of blogs, but as they do not rank them per se they have not been included in the above survey. What is clear from the above information, however, is that there is no strict methodology to ranking blogs (yet?) and the opinions regarding the absolute, number one blog are varied.

How would you determine the top economics blog?

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