111: Greg Mankiw on Writing, Carbon Tax, Health Care and Education at the Economics Teaching Conference in Florida 2016
Greg Mankiw is the Robert M. Beren Professor of Economics at Harvard University. His research includes work on price adjustment, consumer behavior, financial markets, monetary and fiscal policy, and economic growth.
He has written two popular textbooks—the intermediate-level textbook Macroeconomics and the introductory textbook Principles of Economics. Principles of Economics has sold over two million copies and has been translated into twenty languages.
In addition to his teaching, research, and writing, Professor Mankiw has been a research associate of the National Bureau of Economic Research, an adviser to the Congressional Budget Office and the Federal Reserve Banks of Boston and New York, and a member of the ETS test development committee for the advanced placement exam in economics. From 2003 to 2005 he served as Chairman of the President’s Council of Economic Advisers.
I sometimes describe myself as a libertarian at the margin. When I take the libertarian party, they seem a little to extreme for me. But given where we’re starting today, I think a little bit more reliance on free markets, individual responsibility and personal liberty will be a good thing – Greg Mankiw.
In this episode, Greg discusses and mentions: New Keynesian economics, micrcofoundations to macroeconomics, rational expectations, real business cycles, stochastic DSG models, Pigou Tax, carbon tax, externalities, refundable tax credits, subsidies, healthcare, inequality, unintended consequences, student debt and the Baumol disease.
In this episode, Greg discusses and mentions: Richard Lispey, Peter Steiner, Harvey Rosen (Princeton), John Maynard Keynes, James Tobin, Stanley Fischer, Tom Sargeant, Robert Lucas, Alan Blinder, David Romer, Olivier Blanchard, Janet Yellen, Arthur Pigou, Karl Marx, Adam Smith and John Kenneth Galbraith
On Writing Books:
- It does require a fair amount of discipline. That’s the hardest part. I have friends who try to write who have said ‘I’m behind schedule and I’m going to spend the weekend writing three chapters’. That’s a recipe for failure.
- I try to be extremely disciplined about my writing. When I’m writing the books, I wake up and, after I send my kids off to school, it’s the first thing I do everyday.
- I force myself to basically write two pages every day. Two pages is not that much. But if you write literally two pages every single day for a year – 365 days – that’d be a good-sized book at the end of the year. So that’s the hardest part – staying disciplined and keeping at it everyday.
On Pedagogy and Technology:
The technology has changed radically [since the first edition of Mankiw’s Intermediate Macro book]. The pedagogy is electronic where increasingly the number of people using online books has been rising. I’m actually kind of old-fashioned – a bit of a Luddite when it comes to these things but actually for the first time this year at Harvard we’re using the online book with the MindTap product.
- Cengage Learning
- Pigou Club
- Before the Flood (a movie about climate change) by Leonardo DiCaprio
- Revenue-Neutral Carbon Tax in Washington State