Wednesday, October 13, 2004
The Economist polled 100 academic economists on the Bush record and the economic plans of Mr Bush and Mr Kerry; 56 responded.While there isn't anything bad about a 56% response rate, there is probably some bias introduced by that as well. I note their last two questions asked.
10. If you had a chance to work in a policy job in Washington, would you take it?This should have been a screaming red flag of a biased sample, and the Economist even says so, but doesn't give a fig.
YES -- 21, NO -- 33
11. For whom would you rather work?
MR. BUSH -- 3 MR. KERRY -- 17
Are our economists partisans? We chose their names, at random, from among the referees of the American Economic Review, one of the profession's more prestigious publications. Conservatives often moan that university professors are all left-wingers. Though most of our professors claim they are not interested in working in Washington, 80% of those who would accept a policy job would prefer to work for Mr Kerry. However, even if you allow for some partisanship, the results are fairly striking.So when Duane asked...
Where do they get these unbalanced samples of unreconstructed Keynesians to answer the questions by urging that the government soak up all investment risk capital? Don't they ever survey economists who have tried to operate a business or invested in a start-up?
...the answer is "the editorial board of the AER," since they choose the referees. And where oh where do these people come from? Behold.
- Robert A. Moffitt Johns Hopkins University (Editor, and the rest are co-editors)
- Ben Bernanke, Princeton University
- B. Douglas Bernheim, Stanford University
- Timothy J. Besley, London School of Economics
- David Card, University of California, Berkeley
- Richard Rogerson, Arizona State University