The new Bruegel blog has a provocative post entitled ‘Europeans can’t blog’. What they mean is that there is no equivalent in Europe to the US economics blogosphere. To quote: “It is striking to note that the online debate about European economic issues mostly takes place on American blogs.” European blogs exist, but Bruegel suggest that they tend not to link to each other, so debate is not encouraged. This is partly a language issue of course, with many blogs directed at a national audience written in their own language. But the language of economics is English, and there are already some good European blogs written partly or totally in English.
Bruegel thinks it would be good if there was a more interactive European economics blogosphere, and I very much agree. I know I’m not the only person who wants to understand more about the economic debate in other European economies, particularly at the moment. Discussion through blogs might even improve the quality of national economic debate. But what I really wanted to say is that it need not take long to achieve this. At the end of their post Bruegel kindly say that the “UK already has an impressive blogosphere that is tightly integrated with the American one”. The Palgrave Econolog ranks economics blogs mainly by the number of incoming links from other indexed economics blogs i.e. a bit like Google. Of their current top 20, 15 are US based, one is Canadian, one is the IMF, and 3 are from the UK. But of these three UK blogs, only Chris Dillow’s Stumbling and Mumbling was around six months ago. When I and Jonathan started blogging, Chris linked to some of our posts, which meant Mark Thoma read them etc.Bruegel shows one way a new and interesting blog can be created, based around an internationally orientated economics think tank, research center or academic department. Alternatively, I’m sure I’m not the only economics professor who would find they had things to say. There are some really good US blogs by current or recent grad students, like Noahpinion for example. Once the critical mass is there, Bruegel's post and my own experience emphasise the importance of interacting with other blogs.