There are two major competing schools of thought in economics today. Keynesianism (named after the economist John Maynard Keynes) is the predominant dogma advising governments and central bankers around the world and has been for decades. Keynesians such as Paul Krugman and Chairman of the Federal Reserve Ben Bernanke advocate fiscal and monetary stimulus programs to boost the economy during recessions.
Austrian economics is named after the country that the first thinkers of this school came from – Austria. Ludwig von Mises was the preeminent economist from this school of thought. Austrians have a theory about the business cycle that posits that the cause of recessions and depressions is the manipulation of interest rates and the money supply by the central bank. In short, the stimulus that Keynesians advocate actually causes the boom-bust business cycle.
Well, Austrian economist Robert Murphy has challenged Paul Krugman to a public debate on Austrian Business Cycle Theory. Murphy has set up a pledge so that if Krugman agrees to the debate all the money pledged will be donated to a food bank. The pledged amount of money currently stands at over $105,000. If you pledge money for the debate your card only gets charged if Paul Krugman agrees to the debate.
Here’s Bob Murphy explaining how it works: