Economics Blogging Tips From Miles Kimball
Responding to the success of our blogging article in 2018r’s 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 the esteemed Mr Miles Kimball….
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?
If I consider what I have written on Quartz as an extension of my blog then the first piece I wrote on negative interest rate policy, "How Subordinating Paper Currency to Electronic Money Can End Recessions and End Inflation", is up there. The piece represents a whole area of research and activism that I am very proud of. You can see how much intellectual effort this led to in all the links on my bibliographic post, "How and Why to Eliminate the Zero Lower Bound: A Reader’s Guide". The argument made here is that if we make vigorous use of negative interest rates, we never have to have a repeat of the Great Recession, and we can avoid secular stagnation.
By far the most buzz I have ever had for anything is from the piece I wrote with Noah Smith about math education: "There's One Key Difference Between Kids Who Excel at Math and Those Who Don't". Our message there is "You too can do math." In our society we expect almost everyone to be able to learn to read. We should have a similar can-do attitude toward learning math.
Of things that have never appeared on Quartz, let me point to "On the Great Recession" as a blog post I am proud of. More recently, the blogging I have done on obesity has gotten a lot of buzz and engendered a lot of discussion. Going simply on page view data alone, the most popular post on my blog is: "John Stuart Mill's Brief for Freedom of Speech". Such is its popularity it shows up as the second hit if you google John Stuart Mill freedom of speech.
Finally, I also have one blog post that successfully popularized a new word. If you google "teleotheism" you will get to my post "Teleotheism and the Purpose of Life" - check it out.
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 am very proud to be able to claim Noah Smith as my PhD student. He has a constant flow of incisive insights, well expressed and certainly worth a peruse. Tyler Cowen, too, is an excellent writer and is doing a great service as an aggregator. Brad DeLong is very impressive when he puts on his history-of-thought hat, and I think John Cochrane is the smartest right-wing economist currently taking a big role as a blogger and public intellectual. Finally, for those interested in monetary systems, I recommend JP Koning, he is not to be missed.
And lastly, can you give, in under 100 words, a description of your blog, and tell the people why they should visit it?
Readers of "Confessions of a Supply-Side Liberal" will find a wide range of topics, centered around trying to make the world a better place, whether through better monetary policy, better financial policy, more honest science, more freedom, encouraging more respect for others as human beings, thinking bigger about the long-run future, or fighting the rise of obesity that is killing and maiming so many people around the world. I hope especially to raise the sights of young economists beyond narrow career success. I also hope I have something on my blog for almost anyone, economist or not.
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You can find more advice on doing a PhD and on other academic topics here: