Do 10 Economists Constitute a Majority?
By David Henderson
Given the massive shrinkage in the number of jobs available during the first months of the pandemic, most economists don’t think that the $600 bonus kept many people from returning to work.
So writes Christian Britschgi in “San Francisco Judge Rules Drivers With Ride-Sharing Companies Are Employees. Uber Warns It’ll Have To Raise Prices By as Much as 111 Percent,” Reason Hit and Run, August 11, 2020.
When I read Britschgi’s statement, I was shocked. Normally, when the government pays millions of people more to stay unemployed than to return to work, most economists would expect a large percentage of those workers not to return to work.
So what is Britschgi’s basis for concluding that most economists don’t think that’s true? It turns out, as the link in the quote above shows, that the reference is to a study done by 10 scholars at Yale. It’s not clear that all of them are economists, because their titles are not given. But let’s assume they are. When there are well over 10,000 economists in the United States, 10 is not a majority.
I’m not commenting on the study itself. I still haven’t read it. I’m simply criticizing Britschgi’s statement, based on the views of 9 economists, about what most economists believe.