Skip to content
Subscriber Only
Businessweek
Economics

The Twitterverse Goes Nuts Over Economists’ Clash

A critique of a seminal work on debt and growth triggers a firestorm on the Web
Kenneth Rogoff (left) and Carmen Reinhart meet in Reinhart's home in Washington in 2010
Kenneth Rogoff (left) and Carmen Reinhart meet in Reinhart's home in Washington in 2010Photograph by Mary F. Calvert/The New York Times via Redux

The point and counterpoint of academic debate that once occurred over months or years has been compressed to mere hours by social media. Today the Twitterverse exploded with chatter about a new research paper claiming to find holes in a landmark academic paper that’s been cited to justify extreme austerity measures. By mid-afternoon the authors—Harvard economists Carmen Reinhart and Kenneth Rogoff—had e-mailed reporters a quick reply defending their work.

This isn’t over yet. Reinhart and Rogoff will have to give a more substantial reply, and the authors of the critique will undoubtedly reply to the reply.