Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Economy: Where Are All The Great Economists Today?

(Drivebycuriosity) - Economics, the science of the economy, has a bad reputation these days. Maybe all the great economists don´t teach anymore and do other things. Maybe these economists are putting their theories into practice instead of constructing esoteric mathematical models to be published in academic journals.

Take for instance Jeff Bezos (image abbove). The founder & CEO of Amazon.com started his career in the early 1990s as an economist and researcher for a hedge fund. Back then he saw that the Internet will become the platform for a new & global business (e-commerce) and that books are the best way to start this business.  Some years ago he descovered another huge business which also is facilitated by the Internet: Renting computer capacities for cheap online (cloud computing). Bezos managed to realize & develop both ideas (theories) and created so a fast growing company with a market value of more than $300 billion.

Brian Chesky & Joe Gebbia, the founders of Airbnb, are another example. Both saw that many people have spare room in their houses & flats and want to earn money by renting that temporarely via Internet. Today Airbnb is already valued over $25 billion (cnn).

Travis Kalanick & Garrett Camp , the founders of Uber, discovered another aspect of the sharing economy: People use the Internet, via smartphones, to acquire car services from freelance drivers, who are cheaper & better available than taxi drivers. According to CNN Uber is already valued with $70 billion which makes the company more worth than Ford or General Motors (cnn).

Many CEOs are great economists because they lead their companies into new markets and they are adapting their businesses continuously to the rapidly changing environment. Other top economists are assisting the managements of leading companies. Take for instance Hal Varian, the chief economist of Google (recently renamed as Alphabet wikipedia). The economist spezializes in microeconomics and focuses on information economics, helping so to advance Google for the challenges of the 21rst century. Ray Kuzweil, computer scientist, inventor and futurist, also is helping Google to evolve (wikipedia). Other companies also benefit from the advise of acclaimed economists, for instance Microsoft (chief economist Preston McAfee) and Amazon.com (Chief economist
Patrick Bajar).

High salaries and interesting research issues, closer to the reality, lure many economists to private companies: "Top-notch analysis offering new peeks into human behavior that may also reveal ways to improve the company’s service for buyers and sellers", comments Bloomberg (bloomberg).

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