The Right Coast

April 07, 2005
By Mike Rappaport

Steven Levitt, the empirical economist whose book entitled Freakonomics is about to be published, has started a new blog here. So far it looks pretty interesting.

Levitt discusses the work of another economist and blogger, Gary Becker. Becker cowrites the Becker-Posner blog here, which is one of my favorite blogs.

Interestingly, although Posner is no slouch when it comes to citations, Levitt has done a study that shows that Becker is the most influential economist of the last fifty years. He writes:

I published a study in the American Economic Association Papers and Proceedings a few years back that attempted to identify which economic theories and economic theorists were having an influence on cutting edge, data driven economic research today. The most amazing finding was that papers Becker had written in the 1950s, 1960s, 1970s, 1980s, 1990s, and 2000s were all actively influencing research today. Becker came out head and shoulders ahead of any other economic theorist in terms of impact. No one else had more than a couple of papers (typically published just a few years apart) that qualified as influential. Becker is not only the Michael Jordan of economics, he is the Gordie Howe of economics as well.