Thursday, April 07, 2005

Harvard Economics professor accused of stealing manure: AP

Nominated for best supporting actor in the Shipping Coal to Newcastle category:

A Harvard economics professor has been accused of neglecting the standard market practice of paying for goods and services by trying to steal a truckload of manure from a horse farmer.

Stable manager Phillip Casey says Martin Weitzman, Harvard University's Ernest E. Monrad Professor of Economics, has been stealing manure from Charlie Lane's Rockport farm for years.
His Kennedy School profile is:
Preparing leaders for service to democratic societies. Contributing to the solution of public problems

Martin L. Weitzman is the Ernest E. Monrad Professor of EconomicsFaculty Associate and Executive Committee, Davis Center for Russian and Eurasian Studies. His research interests focus on microeconomic theory and environmental economics. His current projects include a book-length manuscript dealing with the maximum principle. His recent publications include: An Economics Proof' of a Separating Hyperplane Theorem, Economics Letters 68 (2000), Economic Profitability Versus Ecological Entropy, Quarterly Journal of Economics, February 2000, and Gamma Discounting, American Economic Review, March 2001. He received his PhD, from MIT, in 1967 and his MS from Stanford, 1964.
There's a lot to riff on here:

1. I'm sure he thought he was providing a solution to a public problem.
2. Were property rights to the horses' output well defined?
3. Why did he have to travel to a horse farm to find material that could be found at Harvard?
4. If he's a Larry Summers defender, this explains a lot.
5. [add your own in the comments section or email it to me and I will add it. Be sure to indicate if you wish anononimity]

UPDATE do loop: The Eclectic Econoclast has a roundup of economists' view on this story. I cited. Click and repeat.


Anonymous miller said...

The Unknown Professor has another summary of choice comments on this over at

It's almost too easy - you can't make stuff like this up.

1:04 AM  

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