Friday, June 26, 2009

Interview with Paul Samuelson in the Atlantic

It is wide-ranging and thoughtful: part 1 here and part 2 here.

Although most of the interview is about academic economics or macro policy, I was struck by this bit:
You know what happiness is: 'Having a little more money than your colleagues.' And that's not so tough in academic life.
Trouble is, it is hard for everyone to do this at the same time. It also suggests that faculty at public universities, where salaries are public information, will be less happy. And that economists, who use salary as a measuring stick more than other fields, will be even less happy (even though, if you take declining marginal utility of income seriously, the salary differences among economists should be smaller than those in other fields when measured in utility rather than dollar terms).