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FROM GALBRAITH TO KRUGMAN AND BACK Galbraith, Krugman and 'Good Economics'

Leslie Duhs

No 369, Discussion Papers Series from University of Queensland, School of Economics

Abstract: J.K. Galbraith's heyday was in the 1950s-70s. He was one of the most cited economists of his time, and attracted much praise and blame. In 1994, Krugman was a caustic critic and dismissed Galbraith's influence as a victory of style over substance. He castigated Galbraith as but �a policy entrepreneur�, yet by 2004, Krugman appeared to have undergone a striking metamorphosis, and his New York Times columns (2000-2006) conspicuously echo Galbraith�s understanding of socio-economic issues. This newer Krugman questions consumer sovereignty, bemoans the power of producers, questions the uses to which State power is put, worries about a medical-industrial complex, and laments the hijacking of public policy by private interests. Is this new Krugman merely a journalist, who has left scientific economics behind, or has he 'seen the light' as to what really constitutes 'good economics' and a more holistic scientific procedure?

Date: 2008
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