Where Economists Agree
By Arnold Kling
According to Robert Whaples,
the overwhelming majority (87.5%) agree that the U.S. should eliminate remaining tariffs and other barriers to trade. Even more (90.1%) disagree with the suggestion that the U.S. should restrict employers from outsourcing work to foreign countries. Apparently, many economists consider U.S. anti-dumping laws to be protectionist, as 61.3% agree that they should be removed, while 25.1% disagree.
Two-thirds of economists support education vouchers. My guess is that, depending on how you phrase the question, you might find that two-thirds of the general public supports vouchers. The opposition to vouchers is powerful not because of how widespread it is, but because of how concentrated it is (particularly the teachers’ unions).
Three-quarters of economists agree with me that raising the retirement age is the best option on Social Security. But Whaples cautions that this is not a belief that they hold with intensity.
Greg Mankiw will be happy to know that 65 percent of economists are members of the Pigou Club–they want to raise taxes on energy.
Is Bryan right? Would I be happy to be ruled by an elite of the American Economic Association? These survey results lend him some support.