April 30, 2003

Paul Krugman Must Be Punished Severely and Mercilessly!

What punishment could possibly be severe and brutal enough for Paul Krugman and Anthony Venables? They have used the letter "Q" to stand for a price index in their 1995 paper, "Globalization and the Inequality of Nations" (QJE 110:4, 857-880).

In economics, "Q" always stands for quantity, and P always stands for price. To make "Q" stand for price is unforgivable! (Plus there's the fact that I'm still not sure whether the quantity of manufactured goods bought is E/Q or E/p, and I've just read the paper three times.)

Posted by DeLong at April 30, 2003 03:39 PM | TrackBack


But what about Tobin?

Posted by: Rob on April 30, 2003 04:16 PM

Careful Brad - or Andrew Sullivan will cite this as "proof" that Krugman's economic skills and professional reputation have gone into steep decline since he dared to criticize The Greatest President That Ever Was.

Posted by: FMguru on April 30, 2003 05:00 PM

But this paper was written in 1994--when Krugman was lashing out at Clinton for being in thrall to "strategic traders"...

Posted by: Brad DeLong on April 30, 2003 06:43 PM

There's a distinct note of shrillness in the letter 'Q', don't you think?

Posted by: Jon h on April 30, 2003 07:38 PM

Oh you liberals! That just shows how awful the Clinton administration economic policy was - even its most dedicated sycophants were criticizing it! Thank God for George Bush, who's tax cuts will create boundless surpluses indefinitely!

Seriously, do anyone think that minor "fact" would prevent the Kaus/Sullivan crowd from smearing Krugman?

Posted by: FMguru on April 30, 2003 10:49 PM

Christ I remember that paper. It's incredibly irritating. I think he repeated the offence in a couple of other ones around the same time.

Posted by: dsquared on April 30, 2003 11:15 PM

Axiom: Krugman is always right on economics.

Shouldn't you really be trying to understand why Krugman would use the seemingly misleading "Q" for a price index?

Posted by: beck on May 1, 2003 04:56 AM

Thank god Krugman is engaged in making honest political appraisals now. It was too shrill as an economist.

Posted by: LowLife on May 1, 2003 07:12 AM

Q was routinely used in the literature on the dependent economy model (aka the Australian model) to represent the real exchange rate, i.e. the relative price of tradables to nontradables. Bruno wrote an AER paper a long time ago that seemed to have generated a spate of this usage. Maybe this has something to do with it and perhaps Krugman isnt the source of it at all.

Posted by: steve on May 1, 2003 09:43 AM

I just find Krugman generically annoying.

And my favorite Q was always John DeLancie

Posted by: PoliBlogger on May 1, 2003 01:22 PM

What about Tobin's Q. I felt the same confusion re it as you do in reading this paper.
Somehow the mind gets imprinted and it is difficult to change concepts. Of course there is also the little problem we have concerning P being on the wrong axis of our graphs.

Posted by: Lawrence on May 2, 2003 11:57 AM
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