I didn’t mean to leave anybody out

by on July 12, 2012 at 7:01 am in Economics, Education, Uncategorized | Permalink

From my entering class at Harvard, that is.  A few emails prompt me to produce a longer list:

Douglas Elmendorf, now head of the CBO in addition to his previous illustrious career in research and policy.

Rob Stavins, teaches at the Kennedy School and is one of the leading researchers in environmental economics including climate change.

Perry Mehrling, we’ve covered him a lot on MR, most of all I love his book on Fischer Black.

Asher Blass, living in Israel, working as a partner in a consulting firm, for a while he was chief economist at Bank of Israel.  I recall Asher once telling me that an individual can have a larger impact in a country with a small population.

Kenneth Kuttner, he has spent time at the San Francisco Fed and co-authored several important papers on money and credit.  Now at Williams College.

John Nachbar, a noted theorist at Washington University and for a while he was department chair.

David Corbett, he now works as a lawyer.

Allen Sanguines, he was brilliant in theory, he is now the President of Rasaland, a development fund in Mexico.

Mark Sundberg, a while ago he was at the World Bank.

Mary Hirschfeld, former Jeopardy champion, went on to get a Ph.D in theology at Notre Dame, now teaching humanities at Villanova.

Greg Duffie, macro and money, professor at Johns Hopkins.

Richard Grossman, at Wesleyan, he is well known in financial history.

Hamish Stewart, has done well recognized work in economics and philosophy.

Deborah Weiss, for a while she was my colleague at GMU Law, now she is living in Texas and raising a family.

My earlier coverage of the class was here.  Our TAs included Michael Mandel and Nobu Kiyotaki.  There are more, perhaps Miles can help me out in the comments.

Bill July 12, 2012 at 7:56 am

In the interest of completeness,

You forgot to list

Your First Year

Kindergarten Class.

Engineer July 12, 2012 at 8:06 am

I was a skeptic, but now I am convinced … you guys are smart and virtuous and should run everything and people like me should just shut up and eat/pray/vote the way that you say.

msnthrop July 12, 2012 at 9:19 pm

+1

Bill July 12, 2012 at 8:50 am

This post is an excellent example of the Dunning-Krueger effect, with modification.

For those who don’t know Dunning-Krueger, here is a a definition:

“The Dunning–Kruger effect is a cognitive bias in which unskilled individuals suffer from illusory superiority, mistakenly rating their ability much higher than average. This bias is attributed to a metacognitive inability of the unskilled to recognize their mistakes.[1]

Actual competence may weaken self-confidence, as competent individuals may falsely assume that others have an equivalent understanding. As Kruger and Dunning conclude, “the miscalibration of the incompetent stems from an error about the self, whereas the miscalibration of the highly competent stems from an error about others” (p. 1127).[2]”

The modification I would add is that even the competent believe they are much better than the average if they come from Harvard.

msnthrop July 12, 2012 at 9:23 pm

LMAO +1

Carl July 13, 2012 at 2:21 pm

No, that’s an excellent example of the Douchebag effect.

Campbell July 12, 2012 at 10:21 am

“Sanguines, he was brilliant in theory’ – was that a sly dig?

Ryan July 12, 2012 at 12:22 pm

I came to write the same. I don’t think Tyler intends the way I read that. Couldn’t help but chuckle — “he was brilliant in theory” and fully expected a “…, but…” following it.

Tyler Cowen July 12, 2012 at 1:16 pm

He really was brilliant in theory! Really.

Miles Kimball July 13, 2012 at 6:57 am

I would love to have you do a post about our professors. I have been tweeting on the very important role that Mas Collel in now playing as Economy Minister in Catalonia. Larry Summers has been both Treasury Secretary, top economics advisor and President of Harvard. Eric Maskin went on to win the Nobel Prize. Greg Mankiw, who came too late to teach us in the 1st-year classes, has the top Principles textbook and has has been economic advisor to presidents and potential presidents. That is only a start.

In class, Larry Summers kept presenting models and then tearing them down. When I told him it was discouraging he said something I will never forget: “It isn’t easy understanding the world.” Larry’s test were killer tests that expected us to be able to do the equivalent of figuring out the core of an economics paper during the test time (papers that had not been on the reading list) in order to do well on the question.

Nikki July 13, 2012 at 10:57 am

*Mas-Colell*.

mkt July 13, 2012 at 5:20 pm

Or an MIT post. Summers and Maskin were MIT profs when I was there, and Mankiw a grad student.

Barkley Rosser July 12, 2012 at 1:09 pm

Now now, that stuff about Kruger-Dunning is not really nice. But clearly Tyler has opened up a rat’s nest or whatever of trying to nicely reminisce publicly, only to find himself having offended a bunch of people. Maybe he is mostly off the hook now with this correction, but I note that in his original post I think he mentioned somebody in another class, Brad DeLong, and so I can imagine him now facing all those people from that class and any in-between who are now offended that they did not get mentioned, :-).

odd July 12, 2012 at 2:05 pm

Other than Kiyotaki I’ve never head of any of them and am well-educated.

Wally July 12, 2012 at 3:11 pm

I for one enjoy tales of up-market graduate school cohorts. This one was worth it just for the description of Brad deLong as back then being “thought of as the slightly right-wing guy (compared to his peers he was).” Has BdL moved left, or is it just that so much of America has moved right?

Noah Smith July 12, 2012 at 3:43 pm

Tyler – Were you there at the same time as Bob Barsky?

Ray Lopez July 12, 2012 at 11:34 pm

Bob Barker? What kind of question is that?

Don’t know much about Richard Grossman, but a good financial historian was the late Stanley L. Engerman (reading a book by him and Kenneth L. Sokoloff now) and an up and coming young star who will soon publish a must read book on the history of intellectual property is Naomi Lamoreaux. Watch for her.

I feel economic historians like the late Charles Kindleberger are the only real honest, non-partisan people left anymore–at least they deal with the reliable past (reminds me of a chess book by GM Genna Sosonko).

Dana July 30, 2012 at 4:30 pm

Somebody should send Naomi a link to this comment. I bet that characterization would make her day.

Dana July 30, 2012 at 4:41 pm

And, sadly, I’m sure economists will go on ignoring (or worse, cherry-picking) the work of economic historians just as they always have.

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