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-17 sept 2012 "A Doctorate in Economics is the most respected ones to be called as Economist.", what? I would edit this sentence to be more comprehensible, but I'm not quite sure what it's trying to say. What does 'ones' refer to, and what does 'called as Economist' mean? Sorry if this comment doesn't belong here, but really.

-In regard to the references, some are spooky, so, lets try to improve that. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 14:48, 3 November 2010 (UTC) - changed language in intro that stated economists where experts - not all economists are. I borrowed the language from the mathematician page instead.

-Not sure where to put this comment, but it is widely agreed that economists tend to be right wing, espouse right wing economic theories, especially theories that are beneficial to the rich and detrimental to the poor. Its often been said that if you one of the more right wing departments in a university, go to the economics department. The only mention I see of political orientation is some bogus stats about how they mostly left leaning. Not an accurate representation at all I should think, but I don't have the time to do the research/citation whatever.

Of course the majority of economists are wrong, but that's a whole other can of beans... —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 18:55, 8 April 2008 (UTC)

Thats not true. For example, the econ department at MIT is pretty left leaning, as oppose to its political science department which is right wing. A commonly held misconception is that economist are "right wingers." There are economists in all ends of the spectrum. Examples through personalities is Princeton's Paul Krugman and Columbia's Joseph E. Stiglitz. Another thing to keep in mind is that academic economics is different from the stuff you read on the media since in the media austrians are over-represented compared to much lower share in academia. Brusegadi (talk) 02:15, 9 April 2008 (UTC)
It's actually a common myth that economists are on the right. The bogus stats are peer-reviewed empirical studies (of which I have seen quite a few, showing most economists to be left-leaning). Here's a good article (writing actually by some of the comparatively few laissez-faire economists): [1]. Signaturebrendel 01:48, 12 June 2008 (UTC)

- Moving Keynes to the "founding fathers", after all he has created a school of thought. (I would recommend doing the same for Schumpeter, but one could argue about that...)

- Adding Robert E. Lucas jr. to the list of important contributors. -- 23:19, 4 July 2006 (UTC)

- Keynes was not a founding father, I am sorry. The field of economics was well stablished when he came along. He most definetly is not a founding father. He was extremely important though. Herbert Alves 05:58, 18 December 2006 (UTC)

I would recommend suspending the section regarding voting patterns of economists until a study with a sample size greater than 264 can be found. (talk) 16:23, 13 July 2008 (UTC)

No one is suggesting writing a section on it, but 264 is not a bad size for a sample. Brusegadi (talk) 16:31, 13 July 2008 (UTC)
For a paragraph on the voting patterns of an entire field that sample size is not adequate. Nor does it sample a broad spectrum of sources. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Aaya35 (talkcontribs) 02:30, 14 July 2008 (UTC)
I guess we'll leave that to the opinion of the authors versus the anons... Brusegadi (talk) 05:10, 14 July 2008 (UTC)

No Marx?[edit]

I was surprised to see that Karl Marx is not included in the list of famous economists. Any particular reason for this? dbtfztalk 02:36, 5 March 2006 (UTC)

I went ahead and added Marx to the list. dbtfztalk 02:45, 5 March 2006 (UTC)

Uhhh, I'm more surprise by some of the folks who are included. Just cause you're in business does not make you a 'famous economist'radek 07:40, 6 March 2006 (UTC)

Here’s a list of ones I’m gonna remove, based on the criteria that the list should include folks who are famous FOR being economists not folks who have happened to study economics and got famous for other reasons:

Alejandro Toledo

Anibal Silva

George Soros – businessman, not an economist. There’s a difference.

Jacques Delors

Kofi Annan

Romano Prodi

Viktor Yushchenko

Wim Duisenberg

For the most part these are “Famous politicians who have studied economics” not “Famous Economics”. Feel free to create a new category under that heading (should include JFK and Nixon too though).radek 07:48, 6 March 2006 (UTC)

Sounds like a good idea. dbtfztalk 07:53, 6 March 2006 (UTC)

Thinking about it "Famous Economists" should include people who are 1) famous inside economics/have made significant contributions to economics, 2) are sort of known by the general public. Under these criteria Milton Friedman and Paul Krugman are both "Famous Economists" (and obviously Smith, Marx, Ricardo etc.). But Ohlin, however great his contributions are, wouldn't. Even Galbraith, whom personally I don't particularly like, should be on the list. I'm gonna mess around with the list some more, any comments etc. are appreciated.radek 07:59, 6 March 2006 (UTC)

Yeah, I was gonna say, we already have the list of economists; the list here should just contain the 10 or 20 most important/influential figures in the history of economics. (Actually, I don't think we should take into consideration how well known they are among the public. This might rule out people like Krugman, who (I think) is mainly famous because he writes for the New York Times, not for any major achievements in the field of economics.) dbtfztalk 08:09, 6 March 2006 (UTC)
The tension here is between "most important in the history of economics" which will wind up including some obsucre folks and "known to the public", which is what I think "famous" means, but might include people who are not seriously taken by people within the profession (that's how Galbraith came to mind). Krugman's pretty famous due to his column. And yeah he's also made some very significant contributions to economics, though his research output has seriously slacked since he started writing that column. Now I'm thinking it'd be best to break it up into "Famous Economists", "Influential Economists" and "Famous people who were economists" but that seems like some kind of article-sprawl.radek 08:22, 6 March 2006 (UTC)

Marx was in, I removed him. Now he's back in with the editorial comment, "Marx...certainly did found a major 'school' and 'current of thought' in economics, even if it was wrong." Marx did not found a school of nor contribute to current economic thought. He founded, if anything, a school of philosophical thought. The subject matter about which he philosophized was economics, but he was not an economist. Further, he did not contribute to current economic thought as there are fewer Marxist economists today than there are Creationist biologists. In addition, while one might argue that he deserves listing as one who contributed to socioeconomic philosophy, he certainly isn't a 'founding father.' So, in consideration of editors who want to keep his name in the article, I suggest changing "Early thinkers in economics" to "Economic Philosophers" and moving him there. Wikiant 13:57, 11 December 2006 (UTC)

So... Ptolemy is not an astronomer because no one uses epicycles anymore? Heck, you could say that Copernicus was not an astronomer, because no modern astronomer believes that the sun is the center of the universe with planets in circular orbits, let alone Copernicus's less enlightened contemporary star-gazers. Manichaeism is a dead religion, but it's still a religion. More generally, you don't even have to be good at something to still do it- Thomas Kinkade is unquestionably a painter, even if an incredibly kitschy one.
Marx considered himself both a philosopher and an economist. Note that he wrote Das Kapital, which went into some detail about capital, employment, wages, "value," and so on, things that sound suspiciously like economics. To quote the article:
However, though Marx is very concerned with the social aspects of commerce, his book is not an ethical treatise, but an (unfinished) attempt to explain the objective "laws of motion" of the capitalist system as a whole, its origins and future. He aims to reveal the causes and dynamics of the accumulation of capital, the growth of wage labour, the transformation of the workplace, the concentration of capital, competition, the banking and credit system, the tendency of the rate of profit to decline, land-rents and many other things.
There are articles here at WP on Marxian economics and the labor theory of value. Economics is a social science, not a political philosophy; while Marx certainly doesn't subscribe to the politics of the vast majority of modern economics, he certainly approached the scientific aspect seriously. There was fairly serious debate between Marxist economics and "standard" economics for some time, especially in the 1930's and 40's. It could be argued that the debate continues even now, though I will grant that the Marxists have fallen back more on political grounds than intellectual ones. Still, even if for some reason we do apply the modern test, it's still relevant- Segolene Royale may well be the next President of France, and parts of France's socialist party are pretty much unreconstructed Marxists.
Also, the economic philosophers list seems pretty vague, and while an argument can be made about Aristotle, I'd definitely not list Plato when thinking about economics. I'd be in favor of just removing the section. SnowFire 22:34, 11 December 2006 (UTC)
I believe that there is a fundamental difference between Copernicus and Marx in that Copernicus mastered the then-known science and then attempted to push it forward. In contrast, Marx pushed without mastering then then-known science. Wikiant 22:59, 11 December 2006 (UTC)
So... Marx was a "bad" economist then. Fair enough, but he was still an enormously influential one. Multiple generations of Russians & East Europeans didn't have any other choice if they wanted to study economics. SnowFire 03:15, 12 December 2006 (UTC)
No, he wasn't a bad economist -- that's precisely my point. He wasn't an economist at all. Wikiant 13:17, 12 December 2006 (UTC)

But you can't just assert that, especially on as nebulous grounds as you're giving. Look, the following are incontroverible facts I propose:

  1. Marx was interested in economics and studied the matter.
  2. Marx wrote on his theories of economics.
  3. These theories have been enormously influential.

So what's the problem with calling him an economist?

The most I can gather is that he should have "mastered the then-known science and then attempted to push it forward." Can you point me to any neutral source that also makes such a requirement? I don't get it. Number 1, there have been plenty of serious, well-meaning scientists who have proposed theories that ended up being not just wrong, but wrong and a dead-end (Perhaps those working on String theory#Problems and controversy?). Do they not count? Number 2, as for the requirement of "mastering" the current knowledge, well, I can only say that many recognized innovators did not "master" the current knowledge. In fact, that's often why they were succesful, because the current knowledge was wrong and they avoided its biases. (Not saying this necessarily applies in Marx's case, but he did have a fresh perspective on the problem, that's no doubt.) SnowFire 14:31, 12 December 2006 (UTC)

I hear your argument. What bothers me are the logical implications. For example, the same three criteria you propose for classifying Marx as an economist can be used to classify any Creationist as a biologist. If, on the basis of these criteria, we agree that Marx was an economist, then we must de-facto agree that Creationists are biologists, that Scientologists are psychologists, etc. Wikiant 15:08, 12 December 2006 (UTC)
I found a reliable (IMHO) source that confirms your position. See You are correct. Let's put him back in. Wikiant 15:12, 12 December 2006 (UTC)

Yeah, as the link says, Marx is a "real" economist, and closer to scientists with wrong theories than psuedoscientists. That said, you did hit on an issue that WP does have. Generally, WP policy is fairly lenient and tends to go with self-identification. This only tends to get overruled when dealing with really outright psuedoscientists; I think the distinction here is "seriousness." A zealot who disavows Einstein's relativity and has published his own book on why this is so (there are a few) is probably still a phycisist, albeit unlikely to be an influential or notable one. On the other hand, someone who sells healing crystals should pretty clearly not be labeled a quantum mechanics specialist even if they attempt to use some fuzzy version of it in their pamphlets. So, yes, real biologists who are also creationists proponents of "Intelligent Design" and have done some lab work to back themselves up? Go ahead and call 'em biologists, even if they're likely biased. They have at least tried to approach the problem from a biologist's point of view. On the other hand, people who argue for creationism/Intelligent Design from a scriptural perspective are clearly not biologists. Same with Scientologists claiming to be psychiatrists. SnowFire 03:59, 17 December 2006 (UTC)

Robert Heilbroner says in his famous book The Worldly Philosophers that Marx was an economist, and anyone who reads the Capital realizes that he only criticizes capitalism, and how it will self destruct, and the proletarian... bla bla bla

Compare Marx to Creationists is just wrong. He was SCIENTIST.

Wrong as he might have been, his economic theory shaped our world just as Keynes did. Hitler might not have become Chanceler, if it weren't for Marx's communism. The Soviet Union, China, the war in Vietnam.

I'm glad this all got settled in a fair way Herbert Alves 06:20, 18 December 2006 (UTC)

I agreed (above) that many writers appear to agree that Marx was an economist. I do not, however, agree that he was a scientist. A scientist is one who employs the scientific method: observation, hypothesis, testing. Marx did the first two, but not the third. In fact, no economists of Marx' day could do more than observe and hypothesize because econometrics hadn't yet evolved as a tool. Wikiant 21:43, 23 May 2007 (UTC)
The early economists were philosophers. It is the testing part that distinguishes science from philosophy. --JHP (talk) 04:12, 14 March 2008 (UTC)

Mark Skousen, an economist prominent enough to have his own Wikipedia entry, lists Marx as one of "The Big Three in Economics". --JHP (talk) 04:23, 14 March 2008 (UTC)

Max Weber[edit]

"While Max Weber is best known and recognised today as one of the leading scholars and founders of modern sociology, he also accomplished much in the field of economics. However, during his life no such distinctions really existed." - from Max Weber article in Wikipedia, and it is also my own conviction. Typelighter 23:38, 6 April 2006 (UTC)

Laffer as founding father in economics?[edit]

I removed Laffer as he neither founded supply-side economics, nor is he the principle economist associated with it. Friedman and Hayek are the economists best associated with that school of thought, and both deserve to be listed as Founding Fathers.

Friedman and Hayek are the economists best associated with that school of thought - you'll need a reference for that; those two are more closely associated with the Austrian School and Classical economics. Signaturebrendel 06:07, 1 November 2007 (UTC)
Friedman was a Chicago school economist and Hayek was of the Austrian school. Not only were they very different from each other, neither of them were supply-siders. --Jayson Virissimo (talk) 23:55, 10 February 2008 (UTC)
True - as I've said in my post above; I think some confusion comes from the fact that both Hayek and Friedman were libertarians and are, therefore, associated with the GOP. Neither, however, were the founding fathers of supply-side economics. Regards, Signaturebrendel 00:15, 12 February 2008 (UTC)

Section: Politicians, statesmen and world leaders[edit]

Why are the names not in same length lists? Is it because of something?


With all due respect, Muhammad Yunus is no economist. Just like Coca-Cola CEO is no chemist.

Your comparison is idiotic. Muhammad Yunus has a Ph.D. in economics and was head of the economics department at Chittagong University. E. Neville Isdell, the CEO of the Coca-Cola Company, does not have a degree in chemistry. The term "economist" is not just a description of one's occupation, but also a description of one's knowledge. --JHP (talk) 03:55, 14 March 2008 (UTC)


it is absolutely fucking ridiculous to have a picture of 'an economist'. you wouldn't have a picture of a geographer or a financial analyst would you?

You have a point there, though I am not about to take sides on that issue. But is the strong lanaguage really neccessary? Oh, well. Signaturebrendel 07:00, 1 November 2007 (UTC)


I've removed the criticism section (which is comprised of only a few sentences anyway) for the following reasons: (1) Being called "dismal science" is not a criticism of economics. (2) The business week article claims (without evidence) that economists failed to predict the economic crisis of 2009 provides no evidence. In November 2007, Nouriel Roubini of NYU said in The Economist, “I now see the risk of a severe and worsening liquidity and credit crunch leading to a generalized meltdown of the financial system…” In addition to Roubini, see any of numerous Wall Street Journal editorials from the late 90’s and early 2000’s pointing to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac as a likely source of future financial meltdown. Wikiant (talk) 00:33, 6 June 2009 (UTC)

  • It seems easier for many here to erase than to improve.... Businessweek article is a cover page article, the publisher is McGraw Hill. In Wikipedia, all sources verified do not have to offer "evidence" to be valid. Otherwise I would be deleting millions of words in Wikipedia, just like you did here. —Preceding unsigned comment added by DTMGO (talkcontribs) 05:49, 6 June 2009 (UTC)
At the moment I am neutral on the content of the criticism section. However, it more properly beings in the Economics article than here. CRETOG8(t/c) 17:33, 6 June 2009 (UTC)
Again, the recently added criticisms fit much better in Economics. That's the place where such substance is discussed. Adding it here will expand the meaning of this article until it would have to replicate a great deal of the Economics article. CRETOG8(t/c) 19:20, 6 June 2009 (UTC)

So for example, who failed to prevent the global financial meltdown, economics or economists?? I think it was people. —Preceding unsigned comment added by DTMGO (talkcontribs) 20:27, 6 June 2009 (UTC)

I agree with Cretog8 that these criticisms are off-topic for this article, which is about "Economist" as an individual profession, not about the discipline of economics which has its own article. Although one might argue "economists" failed to prevent this recession, that is really a criticism of the discipline as a whole, rather than a criticism of the singular economist. This article just outlines what an economist does, how much they are paid, etc. Similarly, our Psychiatry article has a section on the anti-psychiatry movement, but the Psychiatrist article just outlines academic requirements, sub-specialties and the like, with no criticism. Therefore I would suggest removing this section as it is not within the scope of the article. Fletcher (talk) 23:35, 6 June 2009 (UTC)

So what you are saying in analogy is: if physicians underperform, the problem is the medical science, not physicians. So if they forget a medical tool inside the patient's body after the surgery, the problem is the medical science, so let us not discuss that here. Because economists as a whole failed to predict the global financial crisis. ( the few that did see it coming, did not make themselves heard. But then again there are economists that are predicting all sorts of scenarios, there is always someone that will hit the nail, no matter what happens.) --DTMGO (talk) 21:05, 7 June 2009 (UTC)

If a physician underperforms, the problem is that physician, not physicians in general. Your statement, "economists as a whole failed..." is POV until such time as you can present evidence (specifically, you'll need to substantiate the "as a whole" part). Your statement, "did not make themselves heard" is similarly POV. I watched many economists over several years sounding the warning publicly -- some of them Nobel Laureates. My POV is that people (read, "mainstream media and popular press") didn't want to listen. Wikiant (talk) 21:40, 7 June 2009 (UTC)

ok so you are saying the total opposite to the main point of a cover story in Businessweek and an article from the Wharton. They are wrong, and you are right. Give me a break... and they do mention ECONOMIST not ECONOMICS, here are the titles. What good are economists anyway? Why Economists Failed to Predict the Financial Crisis?

This section was criticism on economists. If the job of economists is to study the economy, and they cannot predict a global financial meltdown, I think we should have here something that talks about that. But two or three people here disagree, but that does not mean that you are right. --DTMGO (talk) 22:07, 7 June 2009 (UTC)

Part of our job as editors is to weigh, where appropriate, competing citations based on the quality of the source and the relevance of the citation. I believe I am correct in saying that The Economist is regarded as a higher quality source than Business Week (the former being a hybrid between an academic journal and a popular press publication; the latter being Newsweek with a bent for business topics). Add in the Wall Street Journal, which is also regarded as a more reliable source than Business Week. I've shown you an article in The Economist (and can find relatively quickly several articles in the Wall Street Journal) that disagree, on this topic, with Business Week. Wikiant (talk) 22:19, 7 June 2009 (UTC)

So you apprentice editor get to chose which secondary sources are better than others... can you point me to the Wikipedia policy that determines the criteria to rank sources? Where do academic publications from the University of Pennsylvania, Wharton rank in your view? Also, show me the actual articles in WSJ that you mention. In addition, when different sources have different views, a NPOV is to show all views, not the one that you think is more reliable by censoring all others. --DTMGO (talk) 22:32, 7 June 2009 (UTC)

Wikipedia relies on editors with expertise to use their judgments and attempt to attract other editors to a consensus wrt weighing sources. I am an econometrician and do policy research, so I have expertise in this area. Were it up to me, given Business Week's reputation (relative to other sources) and given that the BW article itself doesn't appear to offer substantiation for its claims, I'd not include the BW article as a source. Nonetheless, if you check the article you'll see that we currently have exactly what you just requested -- Business Week, Wharton, and several other sources are shown. Wikiant (talk) 23:09, 7 June 2009 (UTC)

You are avoiding the issues I raised in my previous discussion. Also, you have been changing your argument from the start. Now you throw titles and your resume in my face. I could do the same but will not make your mistake. Show me where you have businessweek, wharton in the article. —Preceding unsigned comment added by DTMGO (talkcontribs) 23:17, 7 June 2009 (UTC)

Sorry...the citations are in the economics article. I agree with the other editors that criticism is about the science, not about the people -- so the whole criticism section should be in the economics article. I'm not throwing titles. Rather, I responded to your implied question as to what qualifies one to weigh one source over another. Remember that Wikipedia is a communal project. Each of us brings something of value to the project. One of the things of value you brought is the raising of the awareness as to the potential need for a criticism section. One of the things of value that I try to bring is a deeper than average knowledge of this subject. To the extent that we seek common ground, the article improves. Wikiant (talk) 23:28, 7 June 2009 (UTC)

Help needed here[edit]

Coming across the page of David Korten I have felt that this self identification issue is causing some trouble. Korten is not a student of economics, and the discussion page mentions that he has made radical/wrong definitions of common economic terms. Could he be termed an economist? Who sets the standards?

(My personal bias, as a student of economics, is that no one who calls GDP 'a measure of the rate at which we use up natural resources' should be called an economist. The man is well-known, recognised by fellow thinkers in the field of Green economy, he is a member of Club of Rome, but does that entitle him to be called an economist?). Anubisthefoxhead (talk) 19:57, 5 February 2011 (UTC)

I wish to know the average salary a economist earns if anyone could please help me. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 06:06, 21 May 2014 (UTC)

This talk page is for improving the article, not general discusssions on the subject.Jonpatterns (talk) 11:09, 21 May 2014 (UTC)

Other honors and awards[edit]

As long as there's a section for it, maybe we should include the Clark Medal and fellowship in the Econometric Society.Franknarf11 (talk) 21:58, 24 April 2011 (UTC)

Added Nicholas Georgescu-Roegen to Famous_economists section[edit]

FYI, I just added Nicholas Georgescu-Roegen in the section Economist#Famous_economists and forgot to specify in the comment field before saving... --Ledjazz (talk) 18:31, 6 September 2011 (UTC)

Opening Sentence[edit]

I've edited the opening statement, which previously stated that an economist is typically someone who holds a PhD in economics; such a statement seems highly dubious. The link backing the assertion up is also dead. The Oxford and Mirriam Webster dictionaries simply define an economist as an expert or specialist in economics. The vast majority of economists who work in the public or private sector would only be trained to degree or masters level, yet they're still economists. Cyclonius (talk) 01:43, 27 November 2011 (UTC)