Occasional musings about academia, research, travel, arts, and, most importantly, cycling.
Monday, November 30, 2009
"By Force of Thought"
I wish more economists - especially those associated with the Bank of Sweden - would read Janos Kornai's fascinating intellectual autobiography, By Force of Thought (MIT 2006). As someone who has written about the law and economics of socialism (e.g., in my 1998 book Instituting Environmental Protection: From Red to Green in Poland (Macmillan and St. Martin's)), I was already very familiar with Kornai's important contributions - shortage economics, soft budget constraints, etc. - to our understanding of socialist economics. I did not realize, however, just how much he was engaged in empirical and econometric studies in association with those theories. And he was almost entirely self-taught! Kornai is not only a brilliant and important economist, but a remarkable man.