My Responses to Readers Questions
By Arnold Kling
In response to Bryan’s post, readers posed some interesting questions to ask in a survey of members of the American Economic Association.
Is there any reason besides a desire to learn, or to make entry into a Ph.D. programme easier to do a Masters in economics that would not be better served by an alternative option?
I think that the typical AEA member would not endorse going for a Masters if it were his own son or daughter asking about it. My own view is that if you want to pursue something at a Masters level, then I would recommend statistics over economics. I would add that I doubt very much that getting a Masters helps you get into a PhD program (foreign students might be an exception to that).
I’d be interested to learn the average economist’s opinion of net neutrality.
I think that the typical AEA member would have no opinion. Those of us with a public choice bent see “net neutrality” as cover for rent-seeking on the part of those seeking a particular form of regulation of telecommunications companies.
If any, what are your top 3 favorite economics blogs.
I think that the typical AEA member does not read blogs. My favorites are Marginal Revolution, Economist’s View, and then a whole bunch that are tied for third: Econbrowser, Aidwatch, Baseline Scenario, Keith Hennessey, and The Money Illusion.
What is the one finding or principle in economics that you believe is so strongly supported by evidence and logic that you’re shocked that so many other economists disagree with it?
Fascinating question. My guess is that the typical AEA member would say something like “people are irrational” or “markets fail.” I would say something like “public choice” or “governments fail.”
To me, the problem is that economists want to describe markets that only work imperfectly in some easily-modeled way, which can be corrected by the assumed-to-be disinterested omniscient technocrat. My own view is represented by the epigram, “Markets fail. Use markets.”