ECONOMISTS: Nobel and Competent

John Maynard Keynes wrote that economists should try to be regarded as "humble, competent people, on a level with dentists." Simon Kuznets, who was awarded the $90,000 tax-free Nobel Prize for economics last week, is notable both for his competence and for his humility. Russian-born Kuznets, 70, who retired from a Harvard professorship last July, coined the term "gross national product" and did much to develop it as a gauge of economic performance. His strength has always been in insisting on collection of data, rather than in the construction of abstract theories....

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