- The Washington Times - Wednesday, December 31, 2014

The Economist has ranked MIT professor Jonathan Gruber, whose newly unearthed comments about Obamacare caused some headaches for the Obama administration this year, as the most influential economist of 2014 by at least one measure.

The publication asked the online influence-tracker Appinions to measure how much attention was paid to economists’ “utterances” in the media, on blogs and on social media over a 90-day period up to Dec. 11.

William Dudley, president of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, was No. 2, and economist Paul Krugman was No. 3.

Mr. Gruber, who consulted on the president’s health care law, ended up being called to testify before Congress after videos began to surface of his past comments on the law, which included his saying that a lack of transparency and the “stupidity” of the American voter helped it pass.

“Comments made by Mr Gruber on the sausage-making behind the health-care law became the centre of a political firestorm last autumn, propelling him up the list,” The Economist said in its write-up. “His elevation is a reminder that the news cycle is also an imperfect measure: in any other quarter, he would not have troubled the ranking.”

In a separate RePEc (“research papers in economics”) ranking, Mr. Gruber was No. 244.

• David Sherfinski can be reached at dsherfinski@washingtontimes.com.

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