About the authors:
Diversity in teaching, thinking, backgrounds

"[I]t may help to know that we represent three different generations of economics education, and that we each bring a different theoretical and philosophical perspective to the world. Deirdre, you should explain how you turned out to be such a prominent champion of free markets." ~~ Arjo Klamer, "A Trialogue for Teachers"

Arjo Klamer

Dutch economist Arjo Klamer is Dean of the Academia Vitae University College in Deventer and Professor of the Economics of Art and Culture at Erasmus University in Rotterdam. Klamer spent the early years of his academic career in the U.S. After completing his PhD at Duke University he taught at Wellesley College, George Washington University, and the University of Iowa. He returned to the Netherlands in the mid-1990s to assume the world's only Chair in Economics and Culture at Erasmus University.

His books on the rhetoric and culture of economics include Conversations with Economists (1984) and Speaking of Economics (Routledge, 2007).

Klamer is a Catholic layman active in policy debate and community organisations in the Netherlands.

Published work and lectures are available at www.klamer.nl.

Deirdre McCloskey

Deirdre N. McCloskey has been since 2000 UIC Distinguished Professor of Economics, History, English, and Communication at the University of Illinois at Chicago and was Visiting Tinbergen Professor (2002-2006) of Philosophy, Economics, and Art and Cultural Studies at Erasmus University of Rotterdam. Trained at Harvard as an economist, she has written or edited twenty books and some three hundred articles on economic theory, economic history, philosophy, rhetoric, feminism, ethics, and law. She taught for twelve years in Economics at the University of Chicago, and describes herself now as a "postmodern free-market quantitative Episcopalian feminist Aristotelian." Her latest books are How to be Human* *Though an Economist (University of Michigan Press 2001); Measurement and Meaning in Economics, S. Ziliak, ed. (Edward Elgar, 2001); The Secret Sins of Economics (Prickly Paradigm Pamphlets, U. of Chicago Press, 2002); The Cult of Statistical Significance: How the Standard Error Costs Us Jobs, Justice and Lives with Stephen Ziliak, (University of Michigan Press, 2007); and The Bourgeois Virtues: Ethics for an Age of Commerce (U. of Chicago Press, 2006). Before The Bourgeois Virtues her best-known books were The Rhetoric of Economics (University of Wisconsin Press 1st ed. 1985; 2nd ed. 1998) and Crossing: A Memoir (Chicago 1999), which was a New York Times Notable Book.

Her scientific work has been on economic history, especially British. She is currently writing a book, second in a series of four initiated with The Bourgeois Virtues, on Dutch and British economic and social history, 1600-1800, Bourgeois Towns: How Capitalism Became Ethical, 1600-1800. She has written on British economic "failure" in the 19th century, trade and growth in the 19th century, open field agriculture in the middle ages, the Gold Standard, and the Industrial Revolution.

Her philosophical books include The Rhetoric of Economics (University of Wisconsin Press 1st ed. 1985; 2nd ed. 1998), If You're So Smart: The Narrative of Economic Expertise (University of Chicago Press 1990), and Knowledge and Persuasion in Economics (Cambridge 1994). They concern the maladies of social scientific positivism, the epistemological limits of a future social science, and the promise of a rhetorically sophisticated philosophy of science. Recently she has turned to ethics and to a philosophical-historical apology for modern economies.

Find more at McCloskey's website

Who is Prof. Z?

Stephen T. Ziliak is an economist whose work spans the fields of history, philosophy, rhetoric, statistics, and social policy. Of late he has taken to poetry, too, pioneering what he calls "haiku economics." For example:

"Fable of the P's"
"Private vice, publick virtue,"
Prays the President.

Ziliak is unusual among economists in that he has held jobs all around the circular flow. He has been for example a cook, a custodian, a caseworker, a credit and catalog sales associate, a newsboy, a civil liberties volunteer, an auditor, an engineer's assistant, an alien worker, a statistical research assistant, and an Employment Bureau labor market analyst.

He holds graduate degrees from the University of Iowa in both Economics and the Rhetoric of the Social Sciences. A frequent collaborator with Deirdre McCloskey, Ziliak is the author or editor of three books and over sixty scholarly articles.

A prize-winning teacher, Ziliak has held positions at a number of institutions around the United States, including Emory University and the Georgia Institute of Technology where, in 2002, he was awarded "Faculty Member of the Year" and, in the following year, "Most Intellectual Professor." He is currently Professor of Economics at Roosevelt University.

Ziliak is best known for his work on American social welfare history and the theory and practice of hypothesis testing. His most recent book (with Deirdre McCloskey), The Cult of Statistical Significance: How the Standard Error Costs Us Jobs, Justice and Lives (University of Michigan Press, 2007) is on the use and misuse of statistical significance in economics, medicine, and other "sizeless" sciences.

He is currently working on a scientific biography of William Sealy Gosset (1876-1937), aka "Student" of "Student's" t. Fisher misled some sciences in the 20th century. From the very beginning, in 1904, "Student" took an economic approach to the logic of uncertainty. Karl Pearson, and then especially Ronald Fisher, wouldn't listen to "Student." In the 1920s and 1930s Gosset, this "Student," improved upon his own economic approach, inventing the statistical ideas of power and loss, which he gave to Egon S. Pearson and Jerzy Neyman to formalize. Gosset was in these and other regards a great scientist. His economic approach to for example the test of statistical significance and the statistical design of experiments can repair the damage done in science and policy by today's Fisherian methods.

More information and related publications are available at Ziliak's website.