Cyber Monday may just be a marketing tool, but I'll take it as an opportunity to send a cyber-message of thanksgiving out to all of you who are connected to me through my blog.
I started this blog in September 2012 but only started posting regularly in January 2013, after attending a panel discussion at the 2013 AEA meetings called "Models or Muddles: How the Press Covers Economics and the Economy." The panel members, Tyler Cowen, Adam Davidson, Kelly Evans, Chrystia Freeland, and David Wessel, discussed the importance and challenge of writing intellectually upright and emotionally compelling economic journalism. I took their discussion as an invitation to try my hand at economics blogging, and I immensely appreciate every one of you who have read, shared, criticized, complemented, and challenged my writing along the way. Most of you are anonymous, but several of you I feel that I know personally. All of you have helped me improve and inspired me to continue.
I blog mostly for myself. It is a remarkable opportunity to think through new ideas, evaluate recent research, and learn about important policy issues. When I started the blog, I was quite new to economics. I was a math major as an undergraduate, so my first year of graduate school at Berkeley was a boot camp-style introduction to economic theory and analysis. Now, in my final year of graduate school, I am still relatively new to the field, but blogging has helped me develop a broader and more nuanced and contextualized understanding of economics than I could have achieved from school alone.
I blog mostly for myself, but not only for myself. I entered an economics Ph.D. program because I fundamentally wanted to help people and make a difference in the world, as naive as that may sound. Now, looking over at my brand new baby daughter, that is still what I want, even more so than five years ago, though I think I have a more subtle understanding of "making a difference" than I used to. That is also why I want to thank you, readers. I do not give you investment advice, teach you how to get rich quick, or provide juicy ad hominem attacks to entertain you. If you're reading my blog, it's probably because you also have an intellectual interest in economics also stemming, I like to believe, from your desire for a better world. Thanks.