Opinion | Emmanuel Farhi: A brilliant economist gone too soon
His untimely death has deprived the world of an outstanding thinker full of promise
John Maynard Keynes, possibly the most influential macroeconomist of the 20th century, famously said, “The ideas of economists and political philosophers, both when they are right and when they are wrong, are more powerful than is commonly understood. Indeed, the world is ruled by little else. Practical men, who believe themselves to be quite exempt from any intellectual influences, are usually slaves of some defunct economist." This might sound a bit self-serving, but it is undoubtedly true that economic ideas have lasting influence on leaders and public policy, and hence the destinies of nations. Keynes also said, “[Ultimately], it is ideas, not vested interests, which are dangerous for good or evil." Of course, not every economist produces ideas that move the world, and not every Nobel-winning economist has had an abiding influence on economic policies.