S.C ved Free Exchange har lest de 20 beste økonomiske artikklene, og har noen observasjoner:
- Some acronyms age better than others.
- Avinash Dixit and Joseph Stiglitz once made a case for taxing American football and subsidising opera. (See p.307)
- Paul Douglas of Cobb-Douglas fame was a remarkable man. (A Quaker, he nonetheless joined the Marines at the age of 50, earning two purple hearts, before serving three terms as Martin Luther King Jr’s favourite senator. Most memorable, however, were his prewar tussles with his fellow Chicago aldermen, «the smartest bunch of bastards I ever saw grouped together»).
- Remarkable though Douglas was, he and Charles Cobb did not invent the Cobb-Douglas production function.
- Even if they had, perhaps they shouldn’t have.
- There’s nothing new under the blistering sun. On p.48, Thomas Means, a former project engineer with Truckee-Carlson, anticipates Hernando de Soto by about 75 years. And on p.947/8 does Kenneth Arrow not anticipate John Rawls?
- Franco Modigliani and Merton Miller thought whole milk was better than skimmed. (See p.279)
- The word «adverse» in the term «adverse selection» is an adjective not an adverb.* (See p.964)
- The average bill for surgery in Birmingham, Alabama, in 1953 was $99. (See p.963)
- This I already knew: the third part of Friedrich Hayek’s 1945 article, «The Use of Knowledge in Society«, is one of the best intellectual tributes ever paid to society’s chancers, opportunists and wheeler-dealers. Being in the right place at the right time, argues Hayek, is quite as socially useful as being the «right» man for the job in some abstract sense.
- The 20 best papers in the AER’s history average about 1.3 numbered equations per page
Det viser seg at Cogg-Douglas ikke oppfant Cobb-Douglas funksjonen.
Fra et paper fra The University of Melbourne:
This paper traces the discovery of the Cobb-Douglas function. There were four antecedents to Cobb and Douglas; von Thunen, Mill, Pareto and Wicksell. The demand functions specified by Mill and Pareto implied the Cobb-Douglas utility function and von Thunen and Wicksell stated the Cobb-Douglas production function explicitly. This paper comments on why this function has played a seminal role in production and utility theory and why it has been discovered independently by several authors.
Men jeg kommer fortsatt til å bruke Cogg-Douglas. For sent å snu nå.