Economics Bloggers Want to See Lower Barriers to Entrepreneurship
The Kauffman Foundation has been surveying the nation’s top economics bloggers each quarter. In this last quarter, they have once again conveyed a steadily deteriorating view of the U.S. economy in responses. Respondents’ outlook on the U.S. economy is even more pessimistic than in any previous quarterly survey in 2010, with 99 percent saying that conditions are mixed, facing recession or in recession.
“It is not surprising to see such a diminishing outlook in the fourth quarter. Economics bloggers started the year hopeful for a summer recovery, but that obviously hasn’t developed,” said Tim Kane, senior fellow at the Kauffman Foundation and author of the study.
Kauffman Foundation sent invitations to more than 200 leading economics bloggers as identified in the Palgrave’s econolog.net December 2009 rankings. Eight core questions and four topical questions were designed in coordination with a board of advisors (listed below). This fourth survey report also features questions from individual economics bloggers. For example, James Hamilton (Econbrowser) asked bloggers about the probability of a double-dip recession. The average response is a 41 percent probability.
Mark Thoma (Economist’s View) asked how much of an impact the economic stimulus package had on unemployment. A majority of economics bloggers (62 percent) in this survey believes the unemployment rate would be higher today if the $868 billion dollar federal >“stimulus” enacted in 2009 had never passed.
The survey also asked bloggers to evaluate two different policy approaches. Only 37 percent agree with a more traditional policy of “new firm formation with targeted spending and tax benefits” with 63 percent disagreeing (28 percent strongly). The alternative option to >“reduce regulatory burdens and fees on new firm formation” is favored by 82 percent of respondents. Rather than recommending the government get more involved in helping entrepreneurs, top economics bloggers recommend it simply do less to hinder them.
Other research highlights include:
- Only 9 percent think the U.S. economy is doing better than official statistics indicate.
- The number of panelists expecting more rapid inflation exceed by a seven-to-one margin over those predicting disinflation.
- The only group that bloggers rate less favorably than Wall Street firms (with 12 percent As and Bs) is the U.S. Congress (no As and one B). Forty-eight percent give Congress an F this quarter. Nearly one-quarter of economics bloggers give the Federal Reserve an F, which also has the second highest A grades (6 percent).
- In every category of business, conditions right now are rated as “fair, bad or very bad” by 90 percent of respondents.
The survey’s board of advisors includes:
- Robert X. Cringely – I, Cringely
- Brad DeLong – Grasping Reality
- Laurie Harting – Palgrave’s EconoLog
- Paul Kedrosky – Infectious Greed
- Lynne Kiesling – Knowledge Problem
- Donald Marron – DMarron.com
- Mark Perry – Carpe Diem
- Wade Roush – Xconomy.com
- Allison Schrager – Free Exchange
- Nick Schulz –The Enterprise Blog
- Yves Smith – Naked Capitalism
- Alex Tabarrok – Marginal Revolution
- Mark Thoma – Economist's View
You can access the fourth Quarterly Outlook, here.