A few interesting intellectual questions, such as, why is it we are so focused on rankings? Yes, the Hansonites will immediately answer that status is everything, but a more nuanced view would be, at minimum, be more fun.

However, rather than getting into those issues I thought time would be better spent on completely self-indulgent navel gazing.

Palgrave ranks economics blogs based on what looks like an “impact score.” How much does each blog set the conversation. The score seems to be primarily driven by a rolling 90 day average of the number of different blogs linking to your blog. The say they add some secret sauce which seems to be related to whether or not people link the people that link you, just by judging by the rankings.

For quite a while the top spots have been relatively fixed.

Paul Krugman is almost always number 1 and by a wide margin.

The number 2 – 5 spots fluctuate but are usually in this order: Economix, Marginal Revolution, Econbrowser, Free Exchange.

This is interesting in and of itself. The top blog is a noble laureate and a celebrated columnist. The rest of the top five is dominated by two professor blogs and two super high status periodicals. The status rankings in the real world seem to pass right through to the blogosphere.

Remember this ranking is not based on readership, but on impact. I am sure lots of people read DealBook, but according to Palgrave, no other economics bloggers link to DealBook. They drive readers but they don’t drive the conversation.

The bottom half of the top ten is usually: Modeled Behavior, Democracy in America, Naked Capitalism, Worthwhile Canadian Initiative, and a floater who is often Interfluidity.

Yet recently, there seems to have been a bit of shake-up. Brad Delong jumped up into the fifth spot, while Marginal Revolution fell to 9th.

Is this a technical thing? It always seemed strange that Delong wasn’t top ranked. Likewise it seems strange that Econlog isn’t ranked higher.

Who has the inside track on what Palgrave Rankings really mean?

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