The Locker Room

When economists agree

Posted by Joseph Coletti at 1:59 PM

Greg Mankiw sent a Valentine to his profession with this list of ideas on which there is broad agreement(75% or higher).

  1. A ceiling on rents reduces the quantity and quality of housing available. (93%) [same might apply to bank CEOs]
  2. Tariffs and import quotas usually reduce general economic welfare. (93%)
  3. Flexible and floating exchange rates offer an effective international monetary arrangement. (90%) [Roy?]
  4. Fiscal policy (e.g., tax cut and/or government expenditure increase) has a significant stimulative impact on a less than fully employed economy. (90%) [big debate on tax cut vs spending increase and how the cuts/increases are implemented]
  5. The United States should not restrict employers from outsourcing work to foreign countries. (90%)
  6. The United States should eliminate agricultural subsidies. (85%)
  7. Local and state governments should eliminate subsidies to professional sports franchises. (85%)
  8. If the federal budget is to be balanced, it should be done over the business cycle rather than yearly. (85%) [maybe NC could set aside surpluses in the expansion to make up for low tax revenues in the contraction]
  9. The gap between Social Security funds and expenditures will become unsustainably large within the next fifty years if current policies remain unchanged. (85%) [Medicare and Medicaid are in even worse shape]
  10. Cash payments increase the welfare of recipients to a greater degree than do transfers-in-kind of equal cash value. (84%)
  11. A large federal budget deficit has an adverse effect on the economy. (83%)
  12. A minimum wage increases unemployment among young and unskilled workers. (79%)
  13. The government should restructure the welfare system along the lines of a “negative income tax.” (79%)
  14. Effluent taxes and marketable pollution permits represent a better approach to pollution control than imposition of pollution ceilings. (78%) [Cap-and-trade is bad]

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