Thursday, December 07, 2006

Do Economists Agree on Anything? Yes

This is from Mankiws's blog:
Robert Whaples surveys PhD members of the American Economic Association and finds substantial agreement on a wide range of policy issues. For example:
  • 87.5 percent agree that "the U.S. should eliminate remaining tariffs and other barriers to trade."
  • 85.2 percent agree that "the U.S. should eliminate agricultural subsidies."
  • 85.3 percent agree that "the gap between Social Security funds and expenditures will become unsustainably large within the next fifty years if current policies remain unchanged."
  • 77.2 percent agree that "the best way to deal with Social Security's long-term funding gap is to increase the normal retirement age."
  • 67.1 percent agree that "parents should be given educational vouchers which can be used at government-run or privately-run schools."
  • 65.0 percent agree that "the U.S. should increase energy taxes."

And, finally, the topic that generates the most consensus:

  • 90.1 percent disagree with the position that "the U.S. should restrict employers from outsourcing work to foreign countries."

One issue that fails to generate consensus is the minimum wage: 37.7 percent want it increased, while 46.8 percent want it eliminated.

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