Robert Wenzel, over at his EconomicPolicyJournal, quotes Tyler Cowen of George Mason University on the ‘Paul vs. Paul’ debate yesterday on Bloomberg TV: “Still, given that Krugman is a Nobel Laureate in economics, and Paul a gynecologist, the score could have been more lopsided than in fact it was.”
All the back and forth about who won the “debate” aside, just think about this for a second: One of these two is an Ivy League university professor and Nobel Laureate; the other is a medical doctor by profession, who’s been a standing member of congress for almost thirty years of his life, and is a self-taught, amateur economist. The fact that anyone is arguing over who did better is a testament to how much a lightweight Krugman is, and how formidable Paul is, in this field.
Another reader at EPJ had this to say regarding the difference between the professions:
There is definitely a difference when it comes to PhDs in ob/gyn and econ. No ob/gyn would try to mandate that all women give birth to 7.2 lb babies on the 300th day of their pregnancy. They at least recognize that every individual has preferences and unique traits that can only be determined on an individual basis. Econ PhDs seem to think they can formulate an algorithm for the cost of money that will work perfectly when applied universally. Hey, maybe we need an ob/gyn running monetary policy.