Top 40 All-Time Posts and All My Columns Ranked by Popularity, as of October 14, 2013

8 of my top 10 columns and 2 of my top 10 posts are totally new since the last time I made a list of my biggest hits, so it is time to make a new list. You can see my explanation of the rankings and other musings after the lists. 

All Quartz Columns So Far, in Order of Popularity

  1. There’s One Key Difference Between Kids Who Excel at Math and Those Who Don’t
  2. The Hunger Games is Hardly Our Future: It’s Already Here
  3. The Complete Guide to Getting into an Economics PhD Program
  4. The Case for Gay Marriage is Made in the Freedom of Religion
  5. After Crunching Reinhart and Rogoff’s Data, We Find No Evidence That High Debt Slows Growth
  6. The Shakeup at the Minneapolis Fed and the Battle for the Soul of Macroeconomics
  7. Human Grace: Gratitude is Not Simple Sentiment; It is the Motivation that Can Save the World
  8. Larry Summers Just Confirmed That He is Still a Heavyweight on Economic Policy
  9. An Economist’s Mea Culpa: I Relied on Reinhart and Rogoff
  10. Examining the Entrails: Is There Any Evidence for an Effect of Debt on Growth in the Reinhart and Rogoff Data
  11. How to Avoid Another NASDAQ Meltdown: Slow Down Trading (to Only 20 Times Per Second)
  12. Benjamin Franklin’s Strategy to Make the US a Superpower Worked Once, Why Not Try It Again?
  13. America’s Big Monetary Policy Mistake: How Negative Interest Rates Could Have Stopped the Great Recession in Its Tracks
  14. Gather ‘round, Children, and Hear How to Heal a Wounded Economy
  15. Show Me the Money!
  16. QE or Not QE: Even Economists Needs Lessons In Quantitative Easing, Bernanke Style
  17. Don’t Believe Anyone Who Claims to Understand the Economics of Obamacare
  18. The Government and the Mob
  19. How Italy and the UK Can Stimulate Their Economies Without Further Damaging Their Credit Ratings
  20. Janet Yellen is Hardly a Dove: She Knows the US Economy Needs Some Unemployment
  21. Four More Years! The US Economy Needs a Third Term of Ben Bernanke
  22. Why the US Needs Its Own Sovereign Wealth Fund
  23. One of the Biggest Threats to America’s Future Has the Easiest Fix
  24. Could the UK be the First Country to Adopt Electronic Money?
  25. Optimal Monetary Policy: Could the Next Big Idea Come from the Blogosphere?
  26. Get Real: Bob Shiller’s Nobel Should Help the World Improve Imperfect Financial Markets
  27. Actually, There Was Some Real Policy in Obama’s Speech
  28. Read His Lips: Why Ben Bernanke Had to Set Firm Targets for the Economy
  29. More Muscle than QE3: With an Extra $2000 in their Pockets, Could Americans Restart the U.S. Economy?
  30. How Subordinating Paper Money to Electronic Money Can End Recessions and End Inflation
  31. That Baby Born in Bethlehem Should Inspire Society to Keep Redeeming Itself
  32. Three Big Questions for Larry Summers, Janet Yellen, and Anyone Else Who Wants to Head the Fed
  33. Judging the Nations: Wealth and Happiness Are Not Enough
  34. Yes, There is an Alternative to Austerity Versus Spending: Reinvigorate America’s Nonprofits
  35. John Taylor is Wrong: The Fed is Not Causing Another Recession
  36. Why Austerity Budgets Won’t Save Your Economy
  37. Monetary Policy and Financial Stability
  38. Make No Mistake about the Taper—the Fed Wishes It Could Stimulate the Economy More
  39. Off the Rails: What the Heck is Happening to the US Economy? How to Get the Recovery Back on Track
  40. Talk Ain’t Cheap: You Should Expect Overreaction When the Fed Makes a Mess of Explaining Its Plans
  41. Obama Could Really Help the US Economy by Pushing for More Legal Immigration
  42. Does Ben Bernanke Want to Replace GDP with a Happiness Index?
  43. How to Stabilize the Financial System and Make Money for US Taxpayers
  44. How the Electronic Deutsche Mark Can Save Europe
  45. Al Roth’s Nobel Prize is in Economics, but Doctors Can Thank Him, Too
  46. Symbol Wanted: Maybe Europe’s Unity Doesn’t Rest on Its Currency. Joint Mission to Mars, Anyone?
  47. Meet the Fed’s New Intellectual Powerhouse
  48. Governments Can and Should Beat Bitcoin at Its Own Game (on Slate, no data yet)
  49. Why George Osborne Should Give Everyone in Britain a New Credit Card (in The Independent, no pageview data)

Top 40 Posts on

  1. Contra John Taylor 7010
  2. Dr. Smith and the Asset Bubble 6442  
  3. Scott Adams’s Finest Hour: How to Tax the Rich 4361
  4. Balance Sheet Monetary Policy: A Primer 4264
  5. The Medium-Run Natural Interest Rate and the Long-Run Natural Interest Rate 4186
  6. Noah Smith Joins My Debate with Paul Krugman: Debt, National Lines of Credit, and Politics 3761
  7. Isaac Sorkin: Don’t Be Too Reassured by Small Short-Run Effects of the Minimum Wage 3698
  8. What is a Supply-Side Liberal? 3653
  9. Sticky Prices vs. Sticky Wages: A Debate Between Miles Kimball and Matthew Rognlie 3457
  10. The Logarithmic Harmony of Percent Changes and Growth Rates 3150
  11. The Deep Magic of Money and the Deeper Magic of the Supply Side 2737
  12. Trillions and Trillions: Getting Used to Balance Sheet Monetary Policy 2454
  13. You Didn’t Build That: America Edition 2333
  14. The Egocentric Illusion 2328
  15. Two Types of Knowledge: Human Capital and Information 2191
  16. Books on Economics 2003
  17. No Tax Increase Without Recompense 1999
  18. How Conservative Mormon America Avoided the Fate of Conservative White America 1973
  19. Getting the Biggest Bang for the Buck in Fiscal Policy 1912
  20. Why I am a Macroeconomist: Increasing Returns and Unemployment 1847
  21. Why Taxes are Bad 1792
  22. Milton Friedman: Celebrating His 100th Birthday with Videos of Milton 1744
  23. The Shape of Production: Charles Cobb’s and Paul Douglas’s Boon to Economics 1705
  24. Let the Wrong Come to Me, For They Will Make Me More Right 1689
  25. Jobs 1683
  26. Three Goals for Ph.D. Courses in Economics 1662
  27. Scrooge and the Ethical Case for Consumption Taxation 1640
  28. Teleotheism and the Purpose of Life 1638
  29. The Mormon View of Jesus 1637
  30. Kevin Hassett, Glenn Hubbard, Greg Mankiw and John Taylor Need to Answer This Post of Brad DeLong’s Point by Point 1592
  31. Is Taxing Capital OK? 1520
  32. Inequality Aversion Utility Functions: Would $1000 Mean More to a Poorer Family than $4000 to One Twice as Rich? 1490
  33. Corporations are People My Friend 1486
  34. When the Government Says “You May Not Have a Job” 1447
  35. Leveling Up: Making the Transition from Poor Country to Rich Country 1380
  36. Thoughts on Monetary and Fiscal Policy in the Wake of the Great Recession:’s First Month 1380
  37. Is Monetary Policy Thinking in Thrall to Wallace Neutrality? 1379
  38. Avoiding Fiscal Armageddon 1366
  39. For Sussing Out Whether Debt Affects Growth, the Key is Controlling for Past Growth 1361
  40. Mark Thoma: Laughing at the Laffer Curve 1315

Explanation of the rankings

The top 40 posts on listed below are based on Google Analytics pageviews from June 3, 2012 through midday, October 13, 2013. The number of pageviews is shown by each post. Not counting Quartz pageviews and pageviews from some forms of subscription, Google Analytics counts 327,807 pageviews during this period but, for example, 101,669 homepage views could not be categorized by post.  

I have to handle my Quartz columns separately because that pageview data is proprietary. My very most popular pieces have been Quartz columns, so I list them first. Since there are less than 40, I have listed them all, with the ones with no data (yet) listed at the bottom. (To avoid duplication, I have disqualified companion posts to Quartz columns from the top 40 blog post list, since they eventually get recombined with the Quartz columns when I repatriate the columns. For these columns, the ranking is by pageviews at a point where things have settled down. For later posts, that is standardized to pageviews during the first 30 days when Quartz has an exclusive.  

I plan to update the list of columns as new columns appear, but the list of posts is locked in place until the next time I do a post like this. 

You might also find other posts you like in this earlier list of top posts. This post and that one cover everything that has ever been on one of most popular lists so far. 


  • Five of the top ten columns are coauthored: 1, 3 and 6 with Noah Smith, 5 and 10 with Yichuan Wang. It helps to have a top-notch coauthor. 
  • Three of the top ten are about Reinhart and Rogoff. Levels of interest for understanding Reinhart and Rogoff’s was extraordinary.
  • Three of the top ten–2, 4 and 7–are relatively recent columns with a strong religious or moral tone to them. I am glad to see that my efforts to articulate religious and moral themes find an audience as well as what I have to say about economics. 
  • There is a clear time trend in the data. Later columns and posts have an advantage over earlier columns and posts of equal quality.
  • "Contra John Taylor“  edged out ”Dr. Smith and the Asset Bubble“ for the top spot among the posts. 
  • The 2 new blog posts in the top 10 are ”The Medium-Run Natural Interest Rate and the Long-Run Natural Interest Rate“ in the 5th spot and ”Sticky Prices vs. Sticky Wages: A Debate Between Miles Kimball and Matthew Rognlie“ in the 9th spot. In general, posts that have something new to offer for undergraduate and graduate education (including self-education) are doing very well.
  • The mini-bio for me on Quartz says I blog about "economics, politics and religion.” I am glad to see that my religion posts (collected in my Religion Humanities and Science sub-blog) are getting some attention. Religion is represented by four posts in the top forty, in spots 14, 18, 28 and 29. Since the presidential election, I actually haven’t written that much about politics–other than in very close connection to policy, so I am not surprised that politics doesn’t make much of an appearance in either of the lists above. The major exception is “That Baby Born in Bethlehem Should Inspire Society to Keep Redeeming Itself."