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The Paranoid Style in Economics

NEW DELHI – Why do high-profile economic tussles turn so quickly to ad hominem attacks? Perhaps the most well-known recent example has been the Nobel laureate Paul Krugman’s campaign against the economists Carmen Reinhart and Kenneth Rogoff, in which he moved quickly from criticism of an error in one of their papers to charges about their commitment to academic transparency.

For those who know these two superb international macroeconomists, as I do, it is evident that these allegations should promptly be dismissed. But there is the larger question of why the paranoid style has become so prominent.