Monday, March 2, 2009

Anecdotes Are Not Data, But....

This post relates to the following Keystone Economic Principles:
4. Economic systems influence choices.
5. Incentives produce “predictable” responses.

You can file this under the "anecdotes are not data" category, but it's interesting. As a result of the current recession, two interesting phenomena seem to have taken place. I submit both would indicate that people are choosing to learn more about economics and how the economy works, albeit in different ways.

First we have this NPR story about the rising popularity of economics on college campuses (HT to Greg Mankiw who may be seeing an increase in his class loads and textbook sales). If you see increased enrollments for next fall this may be a reason.

The second item is from the Marginal Revolution blog. There appears to be an increase in the sales of Ayn Rand's Atlas Shrugged. The current economy could be behind this. People may have heard of this novel (discussed previously in this blog here) about an economic collapse and seeking to understand the interaction of private and government sectors in economic activity. While the book is fiction, it lays out an interesting case regarding an overly-involved government.

I look forward to your comments.

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