Monday, 30 January 2012

40 Economists Agree

Chicago's Booth School has put together a wonderful resource: a panel of economic experts called on to state their opinions on a variety of policy-relevant questions, along with their confidence in those opinions. I also love that folks can reply that they are highly confident in their response of "uncertain"; sometimes, the data is insufficient to the task, and we can be confident in that we don't know.

So, where do economists agree?
There are other questions at the site; go have a look. 

I'd draw from this that government by technocratic economists would never shift to a gold standard, would immediately implement congestion charging, put in place a carbon tax while abolishing CAFE, abolish the home mortgage interest deduction and preferential tax treatment of employer-provided health care, get rid of "Buy American" mandates, and very likely legalize marijuana and put it under an excise regime like that used for alcohol or tobacco. They'd also likely consider broader trials on vouchers so we could move from uncertainty to confidence.

Dilbert's Scott Adams ought to adopt this set of policies in his independent run for the Presidency. 


  1. Now that the question has been asked, it's interesting to note the proponderance of opinion on the side of fiscal stimulus. I'm a bit surprised how dominant Keynsianism still is. Particularly when you consider that the ARRA is hardly a poster child for efficient, targetted stimulus.

    1. Interesting to note on that some some apparent hard party-line breaks on that one, especially on expressed confidence.

  2. I don't know enough about/didn't pay enough attention to their party affiliation to observe that. If so, does that mean that the vast majority of the economists involved are liberals in the US sense of the word? If that's the case, then the validity of the experiments is surely undermined.