January 1, 2015

Economists on the Welfare State and the Regulatory State: Why Don’t Any Argue in Favor of One and Against the Other?

Robert Higgs

Senior Fellow in Political Economy and Editor of the Independent Review, Independent Institute

Arnold Kling

Senior Affiliated Scholar

Scott Sumner

Ralph G. Hawtrey Chair of Monetary Policy

Dean Baker, Andreas Bergh, Marjorie Griffin Cohen, Anthony Randazzo, Jonathan Haidt, Cass Sunstein

Summary

The symposium Prologue suggests that among economists in the United States, on matters of the welfare state and the regulatory state, virtually none favors one while opposing the other. Such pattern is a common and intuitive impression, and is supported by scatterplots of survey data. But what explains the pattern? Why don’t some economists favor one and oppose the other?

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The symposium Prologue suggests that among economists in the United States, on matters of the welfare state and the regulatory state, virtually none favors one while opposing the other. Such pattern is a common and intuitive impression, and is supported by scatterplots of survey data. But what explains the pattern? Why don’t some economists favor one and oppose the other?

Contributors address those questions:

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