Next fall I'm going to have my students create their own economics blogs. They'll be required to post weekly to their blogs. As far as I know I'll be the first economics instructor to require students to blog. I'm aware of a few English instructors requiring blogs, but no economics instructors, so I'm not quite sure how good an idea this is. In future posts I'll discuss the rubric and other dimensions of that course assignment, but this post is about an exemplary student economics blog, Cantillon's Paradise. Click on the title of this post and pay it a visit.
Why is Cantillon's Paradise exemplary? Consider the title. Student blogger David Skarbek obviously spent some time coming up with it. Just from the name of his blog, you know a lot about Mr. Skarbek's economics. Then there's the frequency of his posts. I don't know Mr. Skarbek, but I would assume that like most students he stays busy with his courses, his part-time job, his friends, family, and other interests. Yet, he posts a steady stream of items to his blog. Good for him!
The quality of the posts are excellent. The latest as of this writing, Mill on Theory, is a good example. The style is authentic, the thoughts clearly expressed and well developed. The previous post, Wine, offers readers Mr. Skarbek's analysis of the recent Supreme Court decision striking down state laws banning direct-to-consumer interstate wine shipments. I dare anyone to find a better written or more thoughtful analysis of the reasoning behind the existence of those laws. I would suggest the New York Times or other mainstream media pick that post up and run it as an op-ed piece.
I'll have my students take a look at Cantillon's Paradise next fall. I'll also let them know that I expect them to make every effort to match its quality. In the meantime, I hope David Skarbek continues to find the time to keep blogging. With all the noisy drivel and ranting in the blogosphere, it was a good day when I happened upon the quiet reasoning in Cantillon's Paradise.