Bjorn Lomborg is generally correct but:

For reference, Stiglitz got his Nobel prize in economics for analyses of markets with asymmetric information like the selling and buying of used cars.

Used cars is asymmetric information, yes, but the market for lemons is George Akerlof not Joe Stiglitz.

5 thoughts on “Ouch”

  1. Great fun. But this is like watching alchemy fighting it out with astrology. Climate science may be an interesting historical subject (except when it’s trying to use models to tell us what happened in the past). Economics may be an interesting historical subject. But neither of them have proved worth a damn at predicting the future. At the intersection of the two subjects, you really are out playing with the fairies & unicorns.

  2. I followed the link, googled for a non-paywalled pdf, and started reading. Quite interesting until the third page when the thing descends int equations which add nothing further to my understanding.

  3. ‘But climate change is much more than that. It includes increasing acidification and rising sea levels (another aspect of climate change that Lomborg doesn’t mention is that Wall Street could be underwater by 2100 — a seeming benefit until one realizes that almost surely the bankers would find a way to force all of us to pay for their move to higher ground).’ – Stiglitz’ ‘second mistake’

    ‘Increasing acidification’ is just stupid. Oceans are not acidic. This doesn’t even make any sense. An economist trying to do science.

    ‘Rising sea levels’ is just stupid. The rate of rise is unchanged in over a hundred years. An economist trying to do science.

    ‘Wall Street could be underwater by 2100′ is just stupid. It is on pace to be under water in 3633. An economist trying to do science.

    Lomborg is a decent scientist. A little misguided, but still a scientist. Stiglitz’ assertions are popular science nonsense. He’s not just wrong, he’s ridiculous.

    ‘the bankers would find a way to force all of us to pay for their move.’ In a “book review?”

    This is a political hit piece. Lomborg’s sin is his failure to repeat establishment orthodoxy.

    Stiglitz, ‘An Economist Who Believes Only Government Can Save Capitalism’

    A Nobel Prize winning economist who doesn’t even know what capitalism is.

  4. I haven’t read Akerlof but the implication is that there can be no market in second – hand cars because bad cars drive out good and nobody trusts the sellers. It’s quite hard to square that with empirical evidence. Therefore the paper is fish wrapper stuff. Rather like the gravity theory of trade. The fact that economists cling to these ideas is more redolent of theology than science

  5. You should, therefore, read Akerlof. For really the paper’s a starting point. Eppur si muove and all that. So, what is it that makes it still move, that market exist? It’s people taking advantage of the asymmetry of information – Glass’ Guide, the blue book and all that.

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