The Journal of Economic Perspectives and the Marketplace of Ideas: A View from the Founding

Stiglitz, Joseph E.

I welcome the opportunity to join in the celebration of the twenty-fifth birthday of the Journal of Economic Perspectives. It is wonderful to see how this 'baby,' which I, along with Carl Shapiro and Timothy Taylor, nurtured through its formative years-from 1984 (three years before the first issue in 1987) until I left in 1993-has grown up and become an established part of the economics profession. In founding the journal, we had many objectives, hopes, and ambitions. We were concerned about the increasing specialization within the economics profession. We sought to have complex and sometimes arcane or highly mathematical ideas translated into plain English, or at least that dialect of the language known as 'Economese'-and in a way that was not only informative but engaging. We were worried too about a growing distance between economics and policy. At least a portion of economic research should be related to ideas that were, or should or would be, part of the national and global policy debates. We began with an explicit commitment to present a diversity of viewpoints, hence the word 'perspectives' in the title. One of the goals we set out for ourselves was to disseminate developments within economics more rapidly. We never shied away from controversy at the journal, but we tried to ensure that the discussion was balanced.



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March 25, 2013