Friday, January 13, 2012

World Book Encyclopedia

We arrived early for the information session in the library of Emerson School, where we hope to send our daughter, so I got to spend a few minutes of quality time looking at the 2011 World Book Encyclopedia.

After I got over my shock that dead tree encyclopedias are still produced (albeit with many more color pictures and graphics than the very serious Britannica my parents owned), I decided to check out their coverage of Nobel economists. I had time to look up five: Becker, Friedman, Heckman, Krugman and Samuelson. Of these, only two had entries: Friedman and Samuelson. I would have thought that winning a Nobel prize in anything would be a ticket to an encyclopedia entry, but apparently the World Book committee is more selective than the Nobel committee.

They are not that selective though. In the place where the Heckman entry should have been there was an entry of multiple paragraphs for Margaret Heckler (you should click through just for the hair style), who was a cabinet member (for Health and Human Services) in the Reagan administration. Call me crazy, but is Heckler really more important than Heckman, or Becker or Krugman? Really? Bizarre.

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