Economists said yes. The word “consensus” only means that the overwhelming majority of experts on supply and demand issues have agreed on the answer to the question. The famous playwright George Bernard Shaw once joked: “If all economists were finished, they would not achieve a result.” Let`s start with Obama`s stimulus. The usual Republican topic of conversation is that it has failed, which means it has not reduced unemployment. In a poll conducted by the University of Chicago`s Booth School of Business, 92 percent of respondents agreed that the stimulus could reduce the unemployment rate. On the more difficult question of whether the benefits outweighed the costs, more than half of them thought they did, one in three people was uncertain, and less than one in six disagreed. First, as economics is what it is, the consensus among economists is not the same as the consensus among physicists, and even that has proven to be less reliable. Second, until we understand more about the ideological balance in the Gang of 40, it is not demonstrated that consensus is free of political bias. Both economic philosophies have merits and shortcomings. But these strongly represented and contradictory convictions are a major cause of disagreement among economists. Moreover, any philosophy colors the way these belligerent economists see both macroeconomics and microeconomics. As a result, each of his statements and economic forecasts are largely influenced by their respective philosophical prejudices.

No that`s not true. On the contrary, 46% agree that this was the case, with 41% either uncertain, disagree or disagree. You only get to the “more than half” bit using the weighted answers you don`t notice. Under the weighted system, responses from people like David Cutler — who was an adviser to Barack Obama and who rated his confidence in him by “10” — distort the overall results. Austan Goolsbee is another example — a former Obama administrator who considered his confidence “9.” Or think of the bailouts of widely despised banks. Populist politicians on both sides have imposed themselves to set the table against them (in many cases only after voting for them). But while the public may not like them, there is a striking consensus that they helped: the same poll showed that no economist was willing to challenge the idea that bailouts have brought down unemployment. We did not find a detectable subset of the panel that matched, but disagreed with the rest of the panel. We found that younger economists disagreed a little more with consensus views, even if they disagreed on when they disagreed! Resolving a global crisis like this requires concerted, consensual and coordinated efforts. But we are told that economists disagree on what to do next.

It`s true? Are we divided? This column praises efforts such as the Chicago Booth School of Business`s panel of economic experts. Panels like this – who are high-level economists who have different political views – allow us to have a sense of consensus or disagreement on important economic issues. As with other individuals, economists can be influenced by financial incentives. . . .