Profile of Kevin Murphy

by on November 4, 2006 at 7:07 pm in Economics | Permalink

Many people call him the smartest economist in America:

“Kevin is far and away the smartest guy in the field,” says Freakonomics
author Steven Levitt…”Often, the better you get to know these guys, the less
ingenious they seem.  It’s just the opposite with Kevin.  Not only is he
widely regarded as the smartest economist on earth, but he can also fix
your refrigerator.”

The article also explains why every one of Murphy’s 60-plus papers is co-authored.  The pointer is from Craig Newmark, and also from Steve Levitt.

Addendum: Try also Levitt and Dubner on the economics of weather.

dearieme November 5, 2006 at 9:48 am

Why is he wasting his time on Economics?

Auto November 5, 2006 at 6:02 pm

I was out a few months ago with a group that included a Chicago econ grad student. Over diiner she happened to mention that Murphy and Becker teach a seminar together and that everyone’s there to hear what Murphy has to say. Becker’s a piece of furniture.

Steve Sailer November 5, 2006 at 6:51 pm

To be specific, Murphy has the exact same educational credentials as the other top 1,000 or so economists in the country. Yet he is more productive than 99% of them, which his colleagues attribute to his being “the smartest economist in America.” So, economists informally acknowledge the real world importance of intelligence, yet Becker and Murphy, like almost all other economists, typically only include proxies for intelligence in their studies of human capital, rather than direct measures (i.e., IQ scores).

And, it’s not as if IQ data is unavailable. The U.S. military spends a fortune tracking how real world performance, both in military and civilian life, correlates with performance on the military’s IQ entrance test, the AFQT. To get it, you just have to politely ask onoe of the military’s psychometricians, the way Herrnstein and Murray did back around 1990.

bhauth November 6, 2006 at 2:14 am

“Since everybody refers to Murphy as supersmart — i.e., he has an extremely high IQ”

Non sequitur. Certainly at least over 140.

As for the quote on Feynman, I’ve never understood what exactly that was talking about him doing. Solutions to problems in beautiful systems are much easier.

hoojk December 2, 2007 at 9:29 pm
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