Getting back from the APEE meetings in Las Vegas at midnight Tuesday, I didn’t have time to read Tuesday’s Wall Street Journal until this a.m. And there, in the top unsigned editorial (the Journal calls it “Review and Outlook”), was a piece that led with a quote from Larry Summers’ article on unemployment insurance in the Encyclopedia. Here’s the quote:

The second way government assistance programs contribute to long-term unemployment is by providing an incentive, and the means, not to work. Each unemployed person has a ‘reservation wage’–the minimum wage he or she insists on getting before accepting a job. Unemployment insurance and other social assistance programs increase [the] reservation wage, causing an unemployed person to remain unemployed longer.

The Journal does get one fact wrong: the book came out in 1993 as The Fortune Encyclopedia of Economics and in 2002 on-line as The Concise Encyclopedia of Economics.

The whole editorial is worth reading.