Ten years of Marginal Revolution

A number of people tell me that today is the ten year anniversary of Marginal Revolution.  Maybe I should have readied a big, retrospective post of all that has changed in the blog, or all that has changed with me, or something like that.  The reality is that I was too busy reading stuff, and traveling, and writing, and grading comprehensive exams and preparing for class, to even notice.  Maybe that’s the proper retrospective right there.

Thank you all for reading!


Well said, chess master and economics Professor Tyler Cowen! I see economics as a form of chess. It's a complex tree of variations and the slightest move order can make a big difference in the outcome. So people end up spending lots of times discussing these slight variations, which lead to different outcomes, and typically end up talking past each other since they are comparing apples and oranges. I myself believe economics in the short term is non-linear and unpredictable, and even in the very long term nothing much can be said except perhaps that free market economics seem to give the most growth, not that growth is everything. On this last point, notice how Byzantium lasted 1000 years, as did caste-ridden India, and how little reward is given to true innovators today in even free-market economies (for example, one of many, the inventor of PCR DNA cloning got a mere $10k for his invention, while the inventor of the World Wide Web got nothing but fame), yet, as Solow points out in his model, the driver of long term growth is innovation. The biggest legacy of Marginal Revolution might be the idea that diversity is a good thing, bad policies matter, and one should keep an open mind, as has TC with his largely balanced and more or less ideologically neutral (KOCH-cha! lol) posts.

Thanks, Tyler and Alex!

Many thanks to both - your blogging continues to stimulate my mind and enrich my life. You're fun people, too!

Thanks for 10 years of stimulating and thought-provoking blogging!

Thank you for a very stimulating blog. I've only been reading since 2004, but it has introduced me to countless new ideas as well as helping me crystalise numerous half-formed notions.

This is one of the best Econ blogs around. Congratulations and happy birthday.

"Ten Years of Marginal Revolution" ... that's a lot of "small steps" ... and I am so thankful for all these small steps as their cumulative effect has been to enrich my understanding of the world ... and thanks for not taking yourselves too seriously and for working at such a high level ... what a refreshing change of pace from so many other academic blogs

Thanks Guys. I don't always agree with you and sometimes I think you are inconsistent (but way, way less so than most folks, including myself). I also think that you are a little hard on Krugman and you don't fully understand/appreciate all the struggles of poor people (especially African Americans) in the U.S. Perhaps (ironically or not, I don't know), imo, you have a much better understanding of poor people in the developing world. I am not sure what that says about the way graduate economics is taught in the U.S., the schools that you two went to, or society as a whole in the U.S.

But at the risk at sounding a bit soppy, this is a wonderful blog and you are wonderful guys.

And, seriously, I have been telling my 13 year-old son for at least two years now: "Think like Tyler; what would Tyler say". Not because I always agree with you or I want him to agree with you, but because I think the Tyler perspective is incredibly interesting. He will likely not be an economist, but thanks to you he will always bear in mind that almost everything in the world can be tracked back to prices, incentives, and motivations.

You have attracted some wonderful commenters. The one that I find the most interesting is Rahul. I suspect that others have their own favorites.

Two last points: 1) Sometimes it would be nice if you are less cryptic in your comments, especially about complicated economic concepts. It stunts the discussion rather than encourages it and I sometimes get the impression that you are being cryptic because you yourself do not know what to say about the issue. 2) You once had a tag line that went something like "This is where we are at now" or some such. Someone said that it was bad English and you dropped it. I like it and you should perhaps resuscitate it. I think it captures the transient nature of: economic theory, empirical knowledge, political positions, opinion, etc.

Congrats! Here's to ten more. You truly have helped me make my own 'small steps towards a better world.' I would never title myself am economist but now I think economically every day.

Tyler and Alex-

Thanks for writing. I will keep reading!

I've started reading MR a lot more recently than 10 years ago (sorry!) but I can totally see myself reading it still, in 10 years time.

... and, judging from the other comments, I am not the only one! May that be a pleasant perspective for you and Alex Tabarrok! :)

Congratulations, Alex and Tyler! Have been following your blog since 2005 (and very grateful for it), though am not sure how good the convergence of my opinion with you guys is... Maybe, I have been implicitly brainwashed but yet not aware of it.

Tylen and Alex,

Congratulations! MR makes the world a much more interesting place.
Please, keep on blogging.

Thank you very much for all the hard work you put into this blog amidst all your other projects. Keep it up, and congrats on ten great years.

Thank you for all the great analysis, tips, and links!

Tyler's an inspiration.

Thank you for writing!

You wrote: “I was too busy reading stuff, and traveling, and writing, and grading comprehensive exams and preparing for class . . . .” Yes, but your day seems to run to at least 48 hours (why does mine seem more like 12?).

50 years from now, historians will be mining the blog and its comments, astounded how everybody failed to anticipate the Great Chinese Revolution, the Decade Without A Winter, and the Flash Pandemic. How could they not see these things coming?


Two things set this site aside from all others:

1) The polymathic subject matter reaches far beyond economics.
2) The even keel displayed by its hosts: something I am incapable of but - probably because I am incapable of it - admire in others.

Those two qualities are what drew me in some 8-9 years ago and what keep me coming back on a daily basis.

Wow, congrats! A fine achievement, Alex and Tyler!
I took a quick peek at those first posts. Funny how we are still talking about the character of Larry Summers today.

Happy Birthday!

Thanks for being one of the best places on the internet - and consistently so...

My only complaint is that unlike RM, I think you should be even harder on Krugman ;-)

Congratulations and thanks to Tyler and Alex (and let's not forget Tyrone).

Happy Tinth anniversary!

Congratulations, and thanks!

Many years!

Congrats on what's still after all these years the best blog on the internet.

Congratulations! PS. 10 years ago I probably hadn't even heard of the word "blog"......

Since I've started reading in 2008, this blog has delivered more entertainment value to me than any other media, and I haven't paid a dime for it other than being convinced by it to buy a couple of Tyler's books. The consumer surplus of the internet is indeed quite large for some of us....even if it doesn't do that much to raise incomes for the median human.

Thanks for maintaining this excellent site.

Your blog is unrivalled in many ways and probably the Internet's best at ensuring civilized presentation of vitriol when the subjects that catch your attention prove sensitive. Many happy returns, and thank you for this splendid venue.

Congratulations Tyler and Alex. Maybe the proper thing is a prospective - what do you predict over the next 10 years of blogging, and what plans do you have for changes to the blog?

The age of the infovore is alive and well. Thanks Alex and Tyler for playing such a big role in this!

Congrats, Tyler!

And congrats Alex, too!

You left out all of the meetings.

Time to take a sabbatical.

The Dos Equis guy has nothing on Tyler. Keep at it and don't just switch over to writing columns for NYT.

Congratulations, that’s a feat. I guess it’s the enthusiastic community members and the focus on quality discussion that has helped Marginal Revolution reach this milestone. Keep up the good work, you deserve it.

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