In an open letter published on Saturday, Harvard economists Carmen Reinhart and Kenneth Rogoff fired back at New York Times columnist Paul Krugman for his “spectacularly uncivil behavior” in the wake of a controversy over the scholars’ austerity findings.
“It has been with deep disappointment that we have experienced your spectacularly uncivil behavior the past few weeks,” wrote Reinhart and Rogoff. “You have attacked us in very personal terms, virtually non-stop, in your New York Times column and blog posts. Now you have doubled down in the New York Review of Books, adding the accusation we didn’t share our data.”
The scholars added: “Your characterization of our work and of our policy impact is selective and shallow. It is deeply misleading about where we stand on the issues. And we would respectfully submit, your logic and evidence on the policy substance is not nearly as compelling as you imply.”
Krugman has maintained that his Keynesian economic approach does not make him smarter than everyone else; rather, it makes him right.
“Am I (and others on my side of the issue) that much smarter than everyone else? No,” writes Krugman. “The point is not that I have an uncanny ability to be right; it’s that the other guys have an intense desire to be wrong. And they’ve achieved their goal.”
The Reinhart-Rogoff-Krugman feud erupted after University of Massachusetts graduate student Thomas Herndon found flaws in the scholars’ data.