Kauffman Economic Outlook

Here’s the inaugural release of the Kauffman Economic Outlook, based on a survey of distinguished economics bloggers (including Yours Truly). “America’s top economics bloggers represent a diverse group of writers with wide-ranging intellectual and political vantage points on one of the most important issues of the day — the economy. As independent thinkers who are immersed in discourse through the innovation of blogging, these economics writers have a unique voice and perspective, and potentially profound influence.” Take that, Old Media!

Lots of interesting charts. And who says economists don’t agree?

Despite being a balanced panel in terms of political alignment (16 percent Republican, 19 percent Democratic, 47 percent independent, and roughly 18 percent libertarian/other), there is a strong consensus around many policy recommendations. Seventy-one percent of economics bloggers think the U.S. government is “too involved in the economy,” with only 17 percent calling for greater involvement. When asked what the government should be doing, the only policies with more than 50 percent support are: 1) to increase high-skill immigration (63 percent), and 2) to increase legal immigration at all skill levels (57 percent). Two policies stood out sharply with near-unanimous opposition: increasing business regulation (9 percent) and increasing tariffs (4 percent). . . .

According to economics bloggers, the top three variables that policymakers should emphasize in a model of economic growth are human capital, innovation, and economic freedom. In a related question, bloggers were asked to rate the beneficial importance of numerous key players in the U.S. economy. One hundred percent of the panel rate entrepreneurs as “important” or “very important,” and innovation also had unanimous support. Only slightly less important are free trade and education, with nearly all respondents rating them as “important” or “very important.” In contrast, only 30 percent of economics bloggers think labor unions are important, and nearly 70 percent rate them as “unimportant” (numbers may not add to 100 due to non-responses and rounding). Opinion is decidedly mixed on manufacturing, while there is mild support for the importance of big business.

[Cross posted at Organizations and Markets]

Peter G. Klein is a Research Fellow, Associate Editor of The Independent Review, and Member of the Board of Advisors of the Center on Culture and Civil Society at the Independent Institute.
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