Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Courageous economists

I often hear that Michael Moore is "courageous". He stands up against the Iraq war, does not like George W. Bush and is unhappy with U.S health care.

In about the same league, is the NY Times' recent report that the economics profession is dominated by laissez-faire advocates, save for a few courageous voices.

Alex Tabarrok sets the record straight at Marginal Revolution. He cites the Klein-Stern survey work that corroborates the idea that most economists do not accept the power of markets. Free market support among American Economics Association members, they find, is in the single digits.

Google Scholar shows 37,300 hits for "market failure" but only 8,070 for "government failure."

Times writers and readers may note that Paul Krugman does beat the drums for leftist policies in his NYT column on a regular basis.

There may well be a Democrat in the White House in 2009 and there will be jobs for economists who clearly establish their "courage" at about this time.