Saturday, July 25, 2009

Poll: Mankiw versus Krugman

In my spare time, I have been following the blog-based skirmishes between Greg Mankiw and Paul Krugman. To catch you up, here's a recent history of the clash:
Mankiw and Krugman have fought with words, columns and blog posts. It has been fun to watch, but I think the question on every economics graduate student's mind is: When will they strap on the helmets and joust American Gladiator style?

That leads me to my poll question of the week: Who would win in a joust? Krugman or Mankiw?

As with all of my polls, please vote ealy, tell your friends to vote and even your local Nobel Laureate. The poll is open for a week. I look forward to seeing what you have to say.

105 comments:

  1. Mankiw without a doubt!

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  2. Both are political hacks more than they are economists.

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  3. I don't think Mankiw is half as bad of an economist as Krugman likes to think, but the fact that Mankiw linked to this is a bit childish.

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  4. I'll go with Krugman. Mankiw's too gentle.

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  5. Funny how d-wal called Mankiw childish when he likely clicked through from Mankiw to get here!

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  6. Krugman has gradually become a blathering idiot, while Mankiw has been exceptionally gracious and makes his point relying purely on reason and evidence.

    However, I refrain from voting for Mankiw since it demeans the quality his blog to link to this. It's a bit Krugmanesque to do so.

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  7. Mankiw is more expert in the areas under discussion. Krugman is often disingenuous and misleading in his presentation of evidence. Krugman is an extreme left ideologue. Mankiw is a moderate. Mankiw writes better. He is also brighter and better-looking.

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  8. Mankiw by a mile.

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  9. I find the Krugman vs. Mankiw scenario amusing - people are constantly projecting their own silly prejudices onto each (e.g. "extreme left "ideologue".)

    The reality is that they're both extraordinarily qualified intellectuals who also happen to be human (aka imperfect.) Their biases are going to get in the way of their reasoning sometimes. And sometimes their temperaments are going to flare up a bit (blatently in Krugman's case, passive-aggressively in Mankiw's.)

    In any case, people need to lighten up. Mankiw's just having some fun by linking here.

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  10. The poll is obviously going to be skewed in favor of Mankiw since he linked to it.

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  11. Does Mankiw google himself daily to find things like this?

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  12. Gotta vote for Krugman. He is far more likely to bite and claw his way to victory.

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  13. Mankiw all the way. Mankiw is objective and much more fair. Krugman is too biased.

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  14. People! (Or should i say Economists?!)
    We are just proving here that Economists are not more scientifically rigorous than Political majors. Just think about it: Where is that "healthy doubt" we are supposed to have on our hypothesis we make?
    Both Mankiw and Krugman behave like kids playing Counter-Strike!
    But yeah... the game went too far... war is inevitable! So... GO MANKIW!!! :))) he-he

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  15. Best Insult Style
    Krugman recently has been the king of the forehand, delivering beauties like "deliberate obtuseness" and the aforementioned "either remarkable ignorant or simply disingenuous." Mankiw definitely prefers the backhand with "[Krugman] seems to think that in the blogosphere...you score points simply by insulting your intellectual adversaries. Sadly, I am afraid he may be right." (Oh, snap!)
    Advantage: Mankiw

    Best Alternative Source of Income
    Mankiw has a beast of a textbook series that raids students pockets to the tune of $210.95 per pop (and like a good market-driven economist, he isn't afraid to pimp it at every turn). Krugman has a friend named Mr. Nobel.
    Advantage: Krugman

    Best Blog Design
    Krugman's is just the NYTimes. Mankiw's is crap.
    Advantage: None (step it up, gentlemen)

    Best Intellectual Feature in Blog Picture
    Mankiw opts for the subtle but still effective "glasses and tweed coat" combo, clearly defining himself as intellectual but also in a friendly "come to my office hours from 4-5pm" professorial way. Krugman rocks the dork beard.
    Advantage: Krugman

    Most Economical Blog Title
    "The Conscience of a Liberal" versus "Greg Mankiw's Blog."
    Advantage: Mankiw

    Most Mysterious First Name
    "N." versus "Paul"
    Advantage: N.

    Overall: I have to say the winner of a KrugMankiw fight would definitely be... their readers!

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  16. Krugman is a bit chubby.......have you seen the gut on him?

    I'll bet that he hits like a prepubescent boy.

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  17. In my opinion, it would be Mankiw, because he seems more logical and less emotional which appeals to me. But, to those who are more emotional, Krugman would likely be the perceived victor.

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  18. Greg wins by a landslide and Krugman's silence reveals that even knows the truth.

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  19. The winner would be the rest of us, benefiting from public policy made less awful through critical review on the battlefield of ideas. I hope these two don't reconcile or disengage anytime soon.

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  20. I've met both and both are more aggressive in print than in person. That being said, Mankiw has bit more fire in the flesh than Krugman. Besides Mankiw has the reach.

    With the pugil sticks I say Mankiw has the edge but he is vulnerable to a sweep to the legs from Krugman.

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  21. Mankiw totally wins. Krugman is nothing but an ideologue.

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  22. Mankill all the way baby!!!! Beat Kreuger for sure.

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  23. Definitely Mankiw gonna WIN!!!

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  24. Mankiw hands down. Krugman is top heavy...you know, with his Nobel Prize and all....which reminds me..if Al Gore can win one...well then.

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  25. Mankiw.

    Hope they keep arguing on their respective blog/artcles/whatever.

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  26. I don't really like either of them;
    Krugman makes his points with long-winded and partisan attacks.
    Mankiw makes his points with short, nonsensical partisan attacks.

    They're both incredibly intelligent people whose blogs are full of idiotic posts. I say they both lose.

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  27. Were it a battle of wits, Mankiw would likely win without much of a struggle (as it appears from this post that he has already done on occasion). But a joust? I'd put my money on Krugman. I'm willing to bet he cheats.

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  28. @scottslant

    Yes, I did click through from Mankiw; I even voted for Mankiw in the poll.

    I hate Krugman's tone when he disagrees with someone; he always acts like his opponent must either be evil or stupid.

    But I also feel that Mankiw detracts from the discussion when he simply tries contribute to the rivalry instead of seriously contribute ideas.

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  29. Mankiw all the way!

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  30. The MANkiw by a mile! I found him after looking for the next Milton Friedman to come to the defense of freedom of choice. he has some of Dr.Friedman's best qualities especially enlightening average folks without being nasty to critics (krugman needs to learn some basic manners)
    Hopefully Dr.Mankiw racks up some brilliant technical contributions to earn him a Nobel down the line.

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  31. Manikw wins and then Krugman posts a piece explaining that he really won and that anyone who challenges that assertion is either stupid or evil.

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  32. Wasn't Mankiw a high school champion fencer or something? More athleticism than Krugman has ever mentioned, so I shall take him in this jousting match.
    No clue why everyone here is debating their politics when the competition is an American Gladiators jousting match.

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  33. Mankiw. Krugman's arguments are weak, as were galbraith's, and they both resorted to name calling when the weaknesses were exposed. In
    my opinion, liberal ideas are not defensible with economic reasoning, and they often must be defended or promoted with force because persuasion fails. Krugman has had several opportunities to take the high road, but he invariably goes fails to do so. This speaks to a flaw in character that would preclude a conservative economist from maintaining a column with the nyt, yet he keeps his position, a journalistic sin if there ever was such a thing.

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  34. Krugman. He's been fighting the good fight for a while now.

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  35. I can only rephrase Tom Lehrer's comment about Henry Kissinger: "Satire was dead when they gave Paul Krugman the Nobel Prize."

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  36. One purely economic ideals its hands down Mankiw. In a joust, all liberals are wimps when it comes to any physical, so it has to go to Mankiw there, too.

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  37. Yeah, I mean Krugman just launches attacks and then never responds when people answer him. A similar thing happened with Cochrane. Krugman basically called him stupid, and when Cochrane showed him that he didn't read past the third paragraph of Cochrane's piece, Krugman responded with...silence. Oh, and yeah, Mankiw wins!!!

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  38. Krugman knows that the truth doesn't care about discussions.

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  39. since Mankiw has advertised this on his blog, then he'll win,

    if the contest were over who is the greatest hypocrite, then Mankiw again

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  40. Paul has a cat, a huge and growing waistline, and is obssessed with his own personal security. (Imagine his reaction if someone posted a piture of his house online -- as happened to Tom Friedman.) So, Mankiw in an easy walk.

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  41. Mankiw. Krugman is a rude ass.

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  42. Mankiw's blog generally provides links to supporting information, which I can read and assess for myself, however primitive my assessment may be. Krugman's support is generally of the "everyone knows..." variety, possibly because the NYT itself has become wholly self-referential.

    So I think Krugman would lose but later claim that he won, as everyone knows.

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  43. Mankiw is the one I trust.

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  44. Mankiw due to his superb effeciency!

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  45. I agree with the way Mankiw approaches a "joust," because he is more civil and open-minded. On the other hand, I tend to agree with Krugman more in terms of policy.

    Still, Mankiw.

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  46. I am voting Mankiw in a split decision. By the way, why not put them in the octagon?
    I really voted Mankiw because too much of the time Krugman is a whiner and takes pot shots. Not fun to read.

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  47. Krugman– his beard makes him a bit too overpowering for Mankiw

    And all you Mankiw fans who think he'd beat Krugman if the contest were simply intellectual, you're wrong. Mankiw's sense of honor would keep him from any battle of wits with an unarmed person.

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  48. Mankiw. Follow both of them, but GM comes out far more balanced.

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  49. Mankiw would win. He can't be any wimpier than Krugman when he debated Bill OReilly...On a more serious note, how can anyone adopt Krugman's text (albeit, he's a good economist) given all the personal attacks he engages in. Just doesn't seem to make sense to reward his bad behavior.

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  50. I'm not sure how it's childish or uncouth (or whatever else people are saying) that Mankiw linked to this. Apparently some people are still uncomfortable with the notion that our experts in academia and policy might have actual personalities and sense of humor. Perhaps we should go back to the old days when they only spoke in third-person passive voice in academic journals that no one reads.

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  51. Krugman is a communist - I wish he was born in USSR so he could see how his ideology works. ;) He doesn't realize how deeply wrong he is. It's a pity because he is an intelligent man. Unfortunately a blind one.

    Mankiw is ok.

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  52. It has to be Krugman: lower center of gravity...

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  53. Mankiw + 1

    A quote from the EconLog panels:

    "There once was an economics professor,
    who dreamed of being made tax assessor,
    He blogged every hour,
    In his mad quest for power,
    The Grey lady pays for this dreck? God bless her."

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  54. Always bet on the guy with the beard. Krugman wins.

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  55. Mankiw is a civil, balanced debater; Krugman has reduced himself to a whiny polemicist.

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  56. Krugman because he is sporting the Chuck Norris beard.

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  57. Mankiw without a doubt. Krugman's articles in the NY Times often use ridiculous analogies to stir up your average liberal joe. Mankiw obviously isn't perfect, but he presents information without as much of a slant, and doesn't play to political idealogy as much.

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  58. actually, i believe it's more analagous to Rock'm Sock'm Robots.

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  59. Krugman comes across as intensely partisan, and always resorts to name-calling of fellow economists on his blog.

    Mankiw, on the other hand, is always willing to praise good economics from both parties.

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  60. Mankiw actually cares about what students are into, Krugman doesn't. I think that's partly because Mankiw likes kids (he has children) whereas Krugman seems to not.

    Youthful Mankiw wins easily. Then Krugman would probably cry about how it was rigged or unfair or something. He would want Mankiw's strength redistributed to the weaker people like himself.

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  61. Mankiw gets my vote any day of the week!

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  62. While I support Krugman's views more, I have to vote for Mankiw, simply because Krugman relies too much on insults of his opponents and too little on factual evidence, while Mankiw presents more seemingly objective and logical arguments without relying on emotional appeal. However, on the whole healthcare debate, empirical evidence overwhelmingly favours Krugman's views.

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  63. Krugman would win, just like George would in a fight with Jerry: "Pull hair, poke eyes, groin stuff. Whatever I gotta do."

    Krugman's smug partisan attitude and constant attacks on the right are tiring. I wonder what he thinks of Sweden's new attempted changes away from the paradise he no doubt sees.

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  64. Mankiw! Mankiw! Mankiw!

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  65. If it was an economic debate I would call a draw because they just come from different sides of the debate and while both make mistakes in their arguments from time to time, both are brilliant and have given a lot to the field. However, the debate is who would win a gladiator match and while I think that Krugman has an angry streak that would help him some, Mankiw seems like the closet athlete who would win the joust.

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  66. I am for MANKIW

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  67. Steven ChristopherJuly 27, 2009 at 10:38 AM

    Surely Mankiw. Krugman is extremely condescending and writes matter-of-factly based on his political ideology, while Mankiw presents both sides to an argument and allows his readers to weigh evidence.

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  68. I'm only an undergraduate in economics, so I don't have the expertise to dispute either on economic grounds. But in terms of argumentation, Krugman relies on the logical fallacy of ad hominem far too often, and his rhetoric is nonsensical.

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  69. Mankiw! Mankiw!

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  70. Mankiw, unless Krugman manages to get a Federal Bureau for Minimizing Inequality in Jousting Skills to supply the refs.

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  71. Mankiw has been provinding stronger and more convincing arguments.

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  72. Krugman is a Hyper-partisan hack... and as a liberal am sure he hits like a sissy. Mankiw seems deliberate, thoughtful, and moderate to a fault. So, as K swings for a below the belt shot - BAM - M catches him with a vicious uppercut. Game over.

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  73. Mankiw for sure!

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  74. MANKIW! All logic lies on his shoulders.

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  75. This commenters debate on the same matchup popped up last week:

    http://www.ryanavent.com/blog/?p=2172

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  76. It will be like the battle at the end of Ong Bak: Mankiw will knock Krugman off some scaffolding, then on the ground Krugman will take 6 needles full of cocaine in his fist and jam them all straight into his heart only to be defeated by Mankiw. Good prevails over evil and we get a happy ending. Right?

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  77. Krugman is the real-world fighter in public policy. Mankiw merely preaches economics mantras from his Ivory tower, blissfully ignoring non-economic trade-offs that are unfortunately all to relevant.

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  78. Mankiw gets the nod, because he's far more objective and doesn't engage in ad hominem attacks. In fact, he holds Krugman in the highest esteem. Way back in 1995, in the Journal of Economic Literature, Mankiw reviewed Krugman's Peddling Prosperity and wrote: "Krugman has been acclaimed as one of the best economists of his generation... will likely win a Nobel Prize someday." He also wrote of the book "there is no book written for a lay audience that explains the economic profession with more perception or clarity than this one."
    When Mankiw says that about Krugman, but K calls the other "ignorant or disingenuous," I naturally side with Mankiw and tune Krugman out. Ironically, this is much the same way I treat AEI publications.

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  79. Mankiw! Krugman is a little liberal sissy...

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  80. Cambridge is rough, man. Mankiw'd whoop anyone from Princeton. That place is like Disneyland.

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  81. Haha, I'm torn but end up deciding on Krugman. Mankiw has been teaching me economics really well (as the author of my textbook) but Krugman seems to acknowledge that their are two sides to reality and simply tries to explain how he reached his opinion based on economic facts. Krugman has been getting more face-time in the media lately, but overall, I feel that his views are better supported by the facts he references. Both are into politics as much as economics (maybe Mankiw less so) but I feel that the better economist is one who can provide insight into the nuances, and thus, I go with Krugman.

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  82. "Krugman seems to acknowledge that their [sic] are two sides to reality"
    -Bhargav

    That's the edge. Krugman.

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  83. Mankiw no doubt!

    Based on both content and style.

    Krugman stopped doing economics to focus on populist slogans and his rhetoric seldom lifts above insults. Mankiw, on the other hand, offers bounded opinions, goes back to theory and empirical studies, and, finally, keeps the calm and polite tone of the person who is confident of his/her arguments while keeping an open mind about those from others.

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  84. Mankiw's arguments are pretty thin compared to Krugman's. But they are both smart guys.

    Most telling: Mankiw doesn't permit comments on his blog.

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  85. Obviously a bunch of men answered this poll. Now for a woman's point of view. In reading both Krugman and Mankiw, I say Krugman wins.

    Have you read Mankiw's text books? They're so gross and passive-agressive. Ew. And passive aggressive-ness usually does not make a good fighter.

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  86. Krugman will do whatever it takes to win in an argument, so I bet that would carry over to the joust... so my money is on Krugman.

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