The Economist of the Century

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Sloppy writing reflets sloppy thinking”- Milton Friedman

Milton Friedman has died.

Condolences to his family- his son David Friedman comments about some of the less well-known contributions of the great economist.

“My first post to this blog, at:

http://daviddfriedman.blogspot.com/2005/12/my-first-post.html

described the superiority of the Chicago style workshop, where the participants are expected to read the paper in advance and the presenter to talk about it for not very long, rather than presenting it, over the more conventional approach. As best I can tell the Chicago style workshop was an invention of my father's.

Long ago I happened to be doing some statistical work, and discovered that my father had a statistical test named after him, a way of doing statistics on ordinal rather than cardinal values—just what, in that project, I needed.

I gather that he was in part responsible for a much more important statistical breakthrough, the idea of using the results of the first N tests to decide whether to do test N+1, instead of selecting the number of tests in advance.”

A comment at Freakonomics blog put it nicely one of the things that I liked about him most;

“What I enjoyed most about him was his ability to frame his arguments objectively as opposed to slinging mud and attacking the character of his opponents in the name of ‘debate.’ To paraphrase Thomas Sowell, it was enough for Friedman to state that his opponents were mistaken and their policies harmful—and why.

His genius was that he was capable of thinking far beyond anyone else yet he was equally capable of explaining economic concepts and ideas in a manner than most any layman could understand. “Free to Choose” lit a fire of interest in economics for me, and had I not read it I doubt I would have returned to college to pursue an econ degree.”

Related;
Obituaries; CATO, NYT, Financial Times, Chicago Tribune, WSG, More at Google News.

Across the blogs; Danish blog, Mahalanobis, Catallaxy, Businomics, The Club for Growth, Jane Galt, Instapundit, Reason blog, Economist’s View, Greg Mankiw, RGE, Robert Lawson, William Polley, Arnold Kling

Podcast- Honoring Milton Friedman

Some of our earlier posts on Friedman;
Learning Economics with Milton Friedman
The Secret of Gary Becker
An Email from the Michael Jordan of Economics

Miscellaneous;
A Charismatic Economist Who Loved to Argue
It's easy to forget how revolutionary they were
Milton Friedman: a study in failure (this person needs a little more enlightening)
When I think of Milton Friedman- Tyler Cowen
Milton Friedman: Entrepreneurial Economist
Iconoclastic economist who put freedom first
Favorite Milton Friedman Quotes
Milton Friedman: An Open Book
Friedman's "last contribution to academia."

From The Economist blog;
"MILTON FRIEDMAN has died. An economics giant, he not only revolutionised monetary theory, but singlehandedly did more than almost any economist in history to advance the cause of free markets. He was not merely an accomplished economist, but an accomplished popular writer; his Newsweek columns remain gems of clarity and brilliance decades later. We will not soon see his like again."

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This page contains a single entry by Paul published on November 17, 2006 6:49 AM.

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