Dominique Strauss-Khan (often called DSK) is a French politician, from the Socialist Party. He has been Minister of Economics and managing director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) from 2007 to 2011. He may have been the candidate for the Socialist Party during the election of the French President in 2012, and is assumed to have good chances to win. He was lecturer in economics for some years in several French universities.

French often nickname him as "the best economist of France" newspapers (e.g. here) . To be simple:

Is DSK the best economics of France?

This question is certainly opinion-based, but economics is, among other things, the science of evaluation and of utility, I hope there may exist some metrics (directing the IMF may be one of these) that allows to estimate his importance in the current economic world so the question may be understood as

In which perspective can DSK be considered as the best economist of France? Under which criteria?

PS: I didn't know exactly how to tag this question. I used macroeconomics because of his position at IMF and his involvement in the Greek crisis.

  • 3
    $\begingroup$ I understand you wrote that this is an opinion based question. I am still voting to close it for that reason. There is no accepted metric for measuring who is the 'best' economist. What @Bkay wrote about might be the indicator of the best academic economist. Why isn't the richest Frenchman the best economist? One could also argue that the question is off topic as economics is more about theories and less about the people behind the theories. $\endgroup$ – Giskard Jul 23 '15 at 5:48
  • $\begingroup$ I agree with @denesp, the way the question was asked excellent. Problem is, it can't really be answered. No way a metric could be devised fairly. most nobel prizes maybe? $\endgroup$ – Jamzy Jul 23 '15 at 6:30
  • 3
    $\begingroup$ Christine Lagarde is the current MD of the IMF. If she has some experience of political positions related with economics, she is a lawyer. So no, the head of the IMF is a politician, not an economist. And same goes for DSK. He is foremost a politician. That was the reason he was chosen for the IMF. This is to prove that being the head of the IMF isn't a good metric. $\endgroup$ – clem steredenn Jul 23 '15 at 8:24
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Not when I'm in France. $\endgroup$ – Kenny LJ Jul 23 '15 at 17:46
  • $\begingroup$ @denesp: Thank you for the comment, and I understand the vote to close. Just to react about your last sentence: I feel like, as any science, economics is about theory and applications. DSK may have been a good for the latter (justifying its appointment as Minister of Economics and at IMF). I was for sure not interested by the person. $\endgroup$ – Taladris Jul 24 '15 at 3:57

Jean Tirole is a French economist, with a degree from a French school, working at a French school, and as of the June 2015 the tenth most cited living economist as measured by Repec with 13,649 citations. That's about the same citation count as an entire top 100 ranked department. Everyone else in the top 10 works in an American institution and was born in the USA (8) or Russia (1). Dominique Strauss-Khan doesn't even make the top 5 percent list.

  • 4
    $\begingroup$ and Nobel Prize of Economics in 2014! $\endgroup$ – Taladris Jul 23 '15 at 2:53

DSK is an ordinary guy... Especially in theoretical economics, there are lots of very good french economists like Thomas Piketty, Emmanuel Farhi, Xavier Gabaix, Phillipe Aghion, Fran├žois Bourguignon, Roger Guesnerie, Daniel Cohen, Pierre Cahuc, Antoine d'Autume and the list goes on.


Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.