Wednesday, February 03, 2010

What do econ bloggers think? 

As I teased on Monday, there is a new survey of economics bloggers out from the Kauffman Foundation, based on a list of 200 economics bloggers kept by Palgrave. I was 1 of the 80 who responded. The poll is pretty well balanced across ideology: respondents self-identified as 16 percent Republican, 19 percent Democratic, 47 percent independent, and 18 percent libertarian/other.

71% thought government was doing too much. What should government do more of? The only answers with broad support concerned immigration (57% supported increasing all legal immigration, and slightly more supported increasing it for high-skill workers.)

What should they do less of? Less business regulation (only 9% favored more of it) and lower tariffs. I think that simply represents the profession as a whole, as it has for many, many years. As Arnold Kling notes, economists do have some substantial differences in viewpoints from the general public, and on these two there is much more consensus than average.

Another example of that comes from taxation -- 47% support flatter taxes and a strong majority want fewer taxes on income and wages. However, taxing carbon and gasoline, and consumption generally, won support from the group.

The most interesting point to me was the split between those who thing the government should address high budget deficits now and those who think that should wait while job growth is stimulated. That debate is reflected in the current political discourse. A majority want entitlement reform ... though if you dug into that position I doubt you'd find consensus on how to do it.

23% of the panel thought recession was still with us, while only 7% thought the economy was strong. That should be a sobering thought for the V-shapers out there.