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Economics Bloggers Outlook Bleak but Improving

Mark Marich

Despite a continued cloudy view of the U.S. economy, some top economics bloggers are beginning to see a ray of hope on the horizon. According to the latest Kauffman Economic Outlook: A Quarterly Survey of Top Economics Bloggers, 14 percent of respondents now believe the economy is “strong and growing” or “strong with uncertain growth,” an improvement over last quarter.

Looking ahead, only 33 percent now anticipate U.S. poverty to increase in the next three years, a significant positive change from previous surveys. Respondents also believe that employment and global output will rise faster than anything else and, surprisingly, some expect a higher marginal tax rate.

“Despite the constant headwinds facing the U.S. economy, bloggers are gradually tilting toward a net positive outlook,” said Tim Kane, Kauffman Foundation senior scholar. “But it was the policy consensus that continues to stand out in the survey. We found majorities favoring higher inflation, more energy production, reforming Medicare and market-oriented changes to public education.”

When asked to identify policy options to stimulate the economy, respondents overwhelmingly supported approval of the Keystone XL pipeline, with 77 percent in agreement (25 percent strongly agreeing), and 75 percent favor opening up more domestic areas to oil and gas exploration and drilling. Other preferred policy recommendations included giving states flexibility to set their own minimum wage (67 percent agreeing) and the revenue-neutral adoption of a value added tax (58 percent agreeing). Opinion remained split on raising the top marginal income tax.

This Quarterly Outlook features questions from five economics bloggers on issues ranging from the future of the Euro to the world shortage of safe assets. Respondents answered questions posed by John Cochrane, The Grumpy Economist; Arnold Kling, EconLog; Craig Newmark, Newmark’s Door; Tyler Cowen, Marginal Revolution; and FT Alphaville contributing bloggers.

Eight core questions and four topical questions were designed in coordination with a distinguished board of advisors, which includes:
  • Robert X. Cringely – I, Cringely
  • Laurie Harting – Palgrave’s EconLog
  • Paul Kedrosky – Infectious Greed
  • Lynne Kiesling – Knowledge Problem
  • Donald Marron –
  • Mark Perry – Carpe Diem
  • Wade Roush –
  • Allison Schrager – Free Exchange
  • Nick Schulz – The Enterprise Blog
  • Yves Smith – Naked Capitalism
  • Alex Tabarrok – Marginal Revolution
  • Mark Thoma – Economist's View

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