April 05, 2010
Economics As Storytelling, Administrative Law Quantified
Posted by David Zaring
  • There's a theme among economics scholarship translation out there that amounts to the latest "econ scholarship is too quantitative" meme.  I confess some sympathy; if sciences are supposed to prefer parsimonious explanations, much quantitative research sure is methodologically complex. Anyway, if you get a kick out of such boomlets (and I do not predict a long life for this one, but others may follow it), here's David Brooks, Felix Salmon, and Justin Fox, three of the smartest economics journalists out there.
  • It's welcome to see an administrative law ranking over at Brian Leiter's, and the work he does citations is nothing short of heroic.  I was surprised by the list, not least because, heck, by my crude count I'd qualify for the top ten, and I've only been in the game for five years (among the many, many reasons I wouldn't belong on the list is that I'm pretenure).  I think the incongruous thing about administrative law is that the talent is pretty widely distributed (lots of people, at lots of different law schools, have a hundred or two hundred cites over the last four years), and some people do admin and something else.  Like admin and constitutional law (that's Cass Sunstein), admin and statutory interpretation (Philip Frickey), admin and environmental law (such as Jody Freeman) admin and the EU (George Bermann); and these people are hard to categorize, though I see no reason not to categorize them the way that Leiter does.  And finally, there are the debate drivers who are ex-law professors, like Sunstein, Freeman and Elena Kagan, to say nothing of Scalia and Breyer, who don't appear in the rankings.

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