A Quarterly Survey of Leading Economics Bloggers
in partnership with Palgrave’s Econolog.net
Senior Scholar, Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation
This paper reports the results of a survey of top economics bloggers. The survey was conducted
in mid-January 2011 by soliciting input from top economics bloggers as ranked by Palgrave’s
Econolog.net. While many (around 50 percent) of the respondents have participated in all
quarterly surveys, the results across quarters are not directly comparable.
Core questions that recur each quarter and topical questions submitted by participating
bloggers were designed in coordination with a distinguished board of advisors, which includes:
|Robert X. Cringely
The Kauffman Foundation is dedicated to the idea that entrepreneurship and innovation
drive economic growth. Naturally, this new technology of blogging is a fascinating one, both
for its effect on the economic research frontier, but also as an innovation in its own right. A
survey of so many high-profile participants offers a unique opportunity for discussion, and this
survey should be viewed as one way of summarizing some of the insights of the community of
Economics bloggers are less pessimistic in their outlook on the U.S. economy than they were
at the end of 2010, though 77 percent believe overall conditions are mixed, facing recession,
or in recession. For an economy in which growth is the norm, 31 percent of respondents think
that the U.S. economy is worse than official statistics indicate, and only 10 percent believe it
is better. When asked to describe the economy using five adjectives, “uncertain” remains the
most frequently used term to describe the economy.
Although the panel is largely non-partisan, a three-to-one majority of top economics bloggers
believe the government is too involved in the economy. The top policy recommendation
(selected from a small set of choices) is for the government to “reduce regulatory burdens and
fees on new firm formation” and “approve trade agreements with South Korea, Colombia, and
Panama,” with 92 percent support.
Promoting entrepreneurship is a consensus agenda among policymakers. However, only 32
percent agree with a policy of “subsidizing new firm formation with targeted spending and tax
benefits,” with 68 percent disagreeing (24 percent strongly). The alternative option to “reduce
regulatory burdens and fees on new firm formation” is favored by 92 percent of respondents.
Rather than recommending that the government get more involved in helping entrepreneurs,
top economics bloggers recommend it simply do less to hinder them.
How do you assess the overall condition of the U.S. economy right now?