This was and is Ms. Solent’s point about the whole thing.
Mr Sumner’s blog not only revealed his market monetarism to the world at large (“I cannot go anywhere in the world of economics…without hearing his name,” says Mr Cowen). It also drew together like-minded economists, many of them at small schools some distance from the centre of the economic universe, who did not realise there were other people thinking the same way they did. They had no institutional home, no critical mass. The blogs provided one.
Ms. Solent made the observation some 6 or 7 years ago. Nice to see that The Economist has caught up.
As an aside about the magazine itself. I used to read it religiously, cover to cover. Up until, hmm, about 2007, 2008. For before that it was an excellent wide ranging review of what was happening in odd parts of the world, often a very good guide to what was going to happen.
Since then it’s been rather a non-interesting roundup of what I’ve already read that week. Perhaps not of the actual pieces I’ve already read (although you can sometimes spot exactly where an idea has come from) but of the general news I’ve already seen online.
Just to make clear, this harrumph about the magazine is nothing to do with Ryan Avent getting Megan McArdle’s job blogging for them even though I tried out for it (and not even never being told sweet FA by the editor about whether or why I hadn’t got the job, very bad form that).
Nope, nothing at all……