Dear God, Am I Wrong here?

Jonathan Portes

Director, National Institute of Economic and Social Research


Jonathan Portes ?@jdportes

Tim Worstall on market-based approach to climate change: … Agree. An issue where Micro 101 gives you the right answer.


What? NIESR agrees with me? Or rather, I agree with them?

Serious reconsideration of my position necessary here.

But, but, what\’s the point of NIESR if it isn\’t to be profoundly wrong about everything? It\’s like finding out that Julie Bindel occasionally approves of heterosexual sex or something: just doesn\’t fit into a rational worldview.

8 thoughts on “Dear God, Am I Wrong here?”

  1. The only reconsideration required sir, is that man is responsible for a natural series of climate events.

  2. @Ian, Tim doesn’t understand physics, statistics, mathematical modelling and so forth, so elects to trust guys whose next research grant depends on their keeping the fantasy alive. So he also has a blind spot here on his old song that incentives matter.

  3. Not sure I really understand Tim (and Frances’) surprise. I’ve written a number of times that “most economists, wherever we are on the political spectrum, think that well-functioning markets usually do a pretty good job of allocating resources.” It should hardly be surprising if we broadly agree that the most sensible policy response to correcting a market failure in the market for energy should be based on prices/incentives, rather than regulation/targeted subsidy/state planning.

    Tim adds: Of course: it’s just something of a shock to find myself agreeing with someone from the NIESR on anything…..

  4. The busy scratching noise heard was Mr Pores being crossed off a lot of Winterval card lists. Market solutions provide quangotocracy jobs, not.

  5. It’s alright Tim.

    When the NEF agrees with you, *that’s* the time to retire to the study with the whisky and the revolver.

  6. Relax, Mr Worstall. You’re not on his list of macroeconomists worth listening to. Maybe because you’re more of a microeconomist?

    Tim adds: I’m not an economist at all. As I keep telling people. My degree is exactly the same as Ritchie’s. Accounting and economics. Different unis at roughly the same vintage. And that’s it for either of us.

    I therefore insist that I’m not an economist…..

  7. I’ll gladly concede that Ritchie is not an economist. If that means you’re not one either, so be it.

    Tim adds: I go further. I insist that I am not economist. What he calls himself, what others call him, is their business.

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