Larry Elliott, economics editor of the Guardian, takes a look at the economics profession and sees a professoriate detached from reality and incapable of fielding an “Fantasy Football” team of living All-Stars to fill out a modern “TEAM KEYNES” or contemporary “TEAM HAYEK”. You’ll find a bit of Elliott’s case quoted below. But I’m not so sure Elliott is right, as least in the instance of Hayek, even by Elliot’s own criteria. What Elliott is looking for are top notch modern day Hayekian or free market economists keenly interesting in explaining how the world actually works, with a healthy skepticism toward mathematical models or formalism for its own sake. Here are my own top ten draft picks for “TEAM HAYEK”. You can add your own in the comments.
No. 1 Draft Pick: DOUGLASS NORTH
No. 2 Draft Pick: ROBERT HIGGS
No. 3 Draft Pick: ISRAEL KIRZNER
No. 4 Draft Pick: VERNON SMITH
No. 5 Draft Pick: ROGER GARRISON
No. 6 Draft Pick: PETER BOETTKE
No. 7 Draft Pick: LAWRENCE WHITE
No. 8 Draft Pick: JAMES BUCHANAN
No. 9 Draft Pick: GEORGE SELGIN
No. 10 Draft Pick: HERNANDO DE SOTO
I’d put these guys up against any modern team Keynes. Who makes your “TEAM HAYEK” draft?
Putting a team together of economists no longer with us is a breeze. A team of dead economists drawn from all strands of the discipline might include Adam Smith, David Ricardo, Thomas Malthus, Karl Marx, Alfred Marshall, John Maynard Keynes, Friedrich Hayek, Richard Kahn, Joseph Schumpeter, Hyman Minsky and Herman Daly.
Whether these classical economists, Keynesians, free marketeers and greens would gel is open to question, but on paper it looks a formidable line-up. Indeed, those on the bench would also be formidable ..
Still, you get the picture. There is a wealth of talent to pick from; so much, in fact, that it would be relatively easy for free marketeers, Keynesians, greens and Marxists to choose their own team. Keynes, for example, might be the creative midfield playmaker in a team including Joan Robinson, Kahn, James Meade, Phillips, Nicky Kaldor, John Hicks, James Tobin, Michael Kalecki, Tommy Balogh and Polanyi (if eligible).
Picking a modern 11 of comparable quality is a lot tougher. Indeed, trying the game out at a Cambridge college a couple of weeks back, the consensus among the economists there was that there has not been a Keynesian economist since Minsky who would make the cut ..