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The Marginal Utility of Marginal Revolution

When quite young I can remember I had no thought or wish of surpassing others.  I was rather taken with a liking of little arts and bits of learning.  Published in Letters and Journal of W. Stanley Jevons (1886), edited by his wife Harriet A. Jevons, p. 11 Stanley Jevons (1835-1882)  is one of the three fathers of the marginal revolution in Economics (along with Walras and Menger).  He is famous for his ideas about marginal utility. Marginal Revolution bloggers Tyler Cowen and Alex Tabarrock are very clever men with very different comparative advantages.   Mostly, Tyler is the king of the short and sweet whereas Alex reigns in the the long and complex. Their specialization makes for a terrific blog. When they started this blog,  they must have realized that an ‘Economics Only’ blog could become quite earnest–and while there is ‘the importance in being earnest’,  it can easily go too far. Marginal revolution manages to be  both serious and satirical. Here’s how. Tyler’s blogs are eclectic. He  covers news/debates/ideas about economics along with his favourite  fiction, restaurants and bizarre links–particularly links that demonstrate the idea that there are markets in everything.  I don’t know where he finds the time, but Tyler  posts at least 5 times per day. There isn’t a topic he won’t cover if he finds it interesting and  he always manages to make economics interesting. On the other hand, Alex’s blogs are less frequent but what he writes is  insightful (and more earnest)–mostly about economic issues but not always. Between the two of them, they write something for almost everybody. Furthermore no one questions that Tyler and Alex are serious economists.   Marginal Revolution is the highest ranking economics blog in North America because they are wilde-ly entertaining.

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Comments (1)

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    Henrico Otto


    Nothing against Alex, but the notion that he is more insightful, deep, complex etc. than Tyler in his MR posts doesn’t resonant with me at all. I tend to find his posts much more knee-jerk and usually an exposition of a pretty simple model or idea. Concededly, his posts usually contain more words, but with far less idea density.


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