Is ‘Omicron’ the independent journal Americans need?

Alexandra Aranha, managing director of the one of the University of Montreal’s academic departments focused on economic policy, points out that there has been a strong consensus in the American academic world on the importance of Omicron. Since 1996, when the International Monetary Fund began to include the research on the University of Montreal in its annual review of economic research, the number of economists saying it was important has risen significantly. Currently around 70 percent of American papers that are cited have a financial investment by their authors in the one-year-old journal, according to Aranha.

When you ask well-known economists about Omicron, you are likely to get the same answer: It’s an important contribution. Jean Tirole, a member of the Executive Board of the Bank of France, says it creates “a lively debate about alternative economies”. Even Joseph Stiglitz, the Harvard professor who is perhaps best known for his critique of the market economy in his book “The Price of Inequality”, holds that it is a “somewhat indispensable” journal. “Most people think they would die without it,” said John Quiggin, the former president of the National Association of Scholars, a conservative activist group, in an interview with the magazine Common Knowledge. Quiggin says the four-year-old journal has a mix of sources and does not necessarily endorse mainstream economic conclusions. The paper “Does Human Nature Enlarge the Production of Coal” makes the case that workers are not to blame for what consumes them. But Martin Feldstein, the Harvard professor and chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers under former President George W. Bush, says it is “excellent” and that it has been “very influential.”

In a society in which different science disciplines now clash with each other in virtual conferences like the Digital Future Meet-up, it is refreshing to see an independent journal like Omicron also in the mix.

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