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Economists explain 2011 in 18 charts

By Ezra Klein,

On Dec. 13, the BBC had a great idea: They asked an array of economists to name their graph of the year. But there’s no reason the British should have all the fun. So we cracked open our Rolodex — okay, okay, our Google contact list — and asked some of our favorite economists and economic policymakers for the graph that had done the most to influence their thinking in 2011, and tell us why.

The results — including contributions from Larry Summers, Glenn Hubbard, Mark Zandi, Carmen Reinhart and Kenneth Rogoff, Peter Diamond, Peter Orszag, Rep. Paul Ryan, Sen. Kent Conrad, and 10 others — are below. Enjoy:

View Photo Gallery: We asked economists for their favorite charts of 2011. Here’s what they gave us.

Oh, and one more: Doug Holtz-Eakin, president of the American Action Forum, pointed to this CBO infographic, which was sadly too large for the slideshow.

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