Thoughts on economics and liberty

The world’s top 10 living economists

The world's best living economists:

This list of the world's 10 best living economists is supplemented by my list of good Indian economists. Please note that this list is in no particular order.

  1. James Buchanan [Since dead]
  2. Deirdre McCloskey
  3. Gary Becker [Since dead]
  4. Douglass Cecil North 
  5. Deepak Lal
  6. Ronand Coase [Since dead]
  7. Harold Demsetz
  8. Jagdish Bhagwati
  9. Armen Alchian [Since dead]
  10. William Easterley

Why Jagdish Bhagwati and Deepak Lal have been CROSSED OUT;


When I first proposed this list I was focused on the economics of these people. Today, I'm wiser. Economists like Deepak Lal and Jagdish Bhagwati have failed to consider the facts of the BJP manifesto and the broader concept of liberty and justice. They have glossed over Modi's murderous past and ongoing sabotage of the justice system. In that sense they have betrayed India. I'm deeply disappointed with these half-baked thinkers. I have now crossed out their names from the above list. They may have been good economists, but they are not moral philosophers, not men who I believe support LIBERTY.

ADDENDUM 18 May 2014 Economics is not just "economics". It is a branch of liberty. Being a good economist but supporting criminality is the END of any claims to economics. Economics came as follows. First the theory of liberty (Hobbes/Locke), then an understanding of the free society (Adam Smith), then understandings of the details of economics (Menger, etc.).

Without the theory of liberty there can be NO economics. And liberty is crucially dependent on justice/ethics/accountability. Since Bhagwati/Lal have a tunnel vision (like a horse with blinkers) and don't understand or don't have the capacity to understand justice, they are not capable of being considered economists.

As Navin Singh wrote on FB: "They are all supporting NM because they agree with his economics. Of bullet train and linking of rivers , of doles to corporates and promotion of handicrafts , govt subsidies for non viable solar plants"

Indeed, that's right. The moment they indiscriminately sing praises of Modi, their goose as economists is cooked. Not just Modi's commitment to liberty is flawed, his economics is a mess.  

Also outstanding:

  • Vernon Smith
  • George Selgin
  • Timur Kuran
  • Daniel Klein
  • John List
  • Steve Kates
  • Donald J. Boudreaux
  • Bryan Caplan​

As you'll notice I give priority to economists who can explain the real world and whose work helps me offer REAL solutions. Or those who challenge shoddy thinking (John List comes to mind). 

This list is not comprehensive. There are thousands of others worth reading. But if you read the work of these 15 living economists, you'll become capable of dealing with most problems in the real world.

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Sanjeev Sabhlok

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6 thoughts on “The world’s top 10 living economists
  1. Akshit

    I have to disagree with you.

    The reason they said favour in Modi not because they like Modi or favour him. (Sometimes you don’t understand the context of that particular situation) like You have also supported Baba Ramdev and Arvind Kejriwal because you don’t know about them, similarly they don’t know much about the History of Modi.

    Reason that they have said these things in the context of 2014, because Congress was not making any changes to improve itself. So, the only option was Narendra Modi, so they said these things because they don’t like the congress

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