Thursday, May 7, 2009

Why economists write papers and not books

The making of Economic Literature (presidential address to the American Economic Association, 1909). My favorite parts: 
A three hundred page thesis not only does not fit a man to be an economist: it really incapacitates him for work...I hold that the better the economist the clearer, shorter, and more precise are his utterances …A book is merely the trail along which its author has gone in his search for clear expression and sharp analysis. This is of great importance to the author, but of little consequence to the reader.
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