Friday, January 30, 2009


Keynesian Stimulus Grand Links Accumulator

I think a link page for the stimulus would be useful, so here it is. I'll update this as links accumulate. What I'd like to pin down here is economists of at least some name for research--- which for me, practically here, just means that I've heard of them--- who I conclude would prefer no stimulus bill at all to the stimulus bill that Congress has passed. I have not included the many economists who have written ambiguously that stimulus might well be appropriate, or that if we are going to have a stimulus it ought to be tax cuts rather than spending, or that a properly designed stimulus is just what we need, since that is not at all the same as saying that they support a bill similar to what Congress has come up with. Government failure is half the applicable theory here, and a lot of economists seem to go out of their way to avoid talking about the real world stimulus bills.

Please excuse me, anyone, if I've mischaracterized you here. I'd be happy to have a definite statement putting you as PRO, CON, or Undecided. Just email me at Also, please excuse my not including you if you are a Cato signer I left off. I'm including only a few people on the lists below whom I've not heard of via academia and scholarship. Thus, for example, Bruce Bartlett and Megan McCardle don't count. And of course Administration officials don't count, so I haven't bothered to look for the views of Christina Romer or Lawrence Summers.

In an earlier posting of this webpage, I remarked on how few pro-stimulus economists I had found. Then I found the January 27 CAPAF letter, which evens things up considerably. It's still true that I haven't found much web or journalism presence of economists saying they support the stimulus. Link suggestions for them are welcomed.

Economists on the Stimulus:

  • For the stimulus:
    1. Menzie Chinn, Wisconsin
    2. A collection of lots of Brad DeLong posts, mostly reacting to other economists (January 2009)
    3. Robert Frank, Cornell
    4. Paul Krugman: January 19, 2009, Getting fiscal, Nobel laureate in international trade.
    5. Jeff Sachs, Columbia University, in the Huffington Post.
    6. Joseph Stiglitz, Nobel laureate in information economics.
    7. Janet Yellen, Berkeley.
    8. Many people signed a January 27 2009 CAPAF letter in favor of the Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. Here I list only those I've heard of via academic channels whom I don't list elsewhere on this webpage. There are dozens of others on the list.
      1. Kenneth Arrow, Nobel; Lawrence Klein, Nobel; Eric Maskin, Nobel; Daniel McFadden, Nobel; Paul Samuelson, Nobel MIT; Robert Solow, Nobel MIT; Franklin Fisher, MIT; Laura Tyson; Sandeep Baldiga, Northwestern; William Baumol, Princeton; Peter Berck, Berkeley; Michael Bernstein, Tulane; Rebecca Blank; Guillermo Calvo; Paul Davidson; Hadi Esfahani, Illinois; Marianne Ferber, Illinois; Michael Intriligator, UCLA; Lawrence Katz, Harvard; David I. Levine, Berkeley (not the Wash. U. one who is anti-) ; Richard Murnane, Harvard; John Roemer, Yale; T. Paul Schultz, Yale; Sherrill Shaffer, Wyoming; Mark Thoma, Oregon;
    9. A November 19, 2008 open letter supporting a particular kind of stimulus bill was signed by many economists, including George Akerlof, Paul David, Sanford Jacoby, Gavin Wright, Gary Burtless, Peter Diamond, Laurence Kotlikoff, Julie Nelson, Peter Temin, Ann Markusen, and Susan Helper. It advocated a quick $400 billion bill with 4 specific kinds of spending. Quite possibly those people favor the actual bill that passed, but there are lots of people who would support ideal bills but oppose the actual bill, so I'm not listing them.

  • Against:
    1. Gary Professor Becker (Chicago, Nobel Laureate, labor economics, Jan. 11).
    2. Professor Robert Barro, Harvard. Also this interview.
    3. Willem Buiter, with close attention to who would buy US debt.
    4. John Cochrane (Chicago, Jan. 29)
    5. Tyler Cowen on lack of empirical support(December).
    6. Professor Eugene Fama (Chicago, January 29)
    7. Professor Martin Feldstein (Harvard,January 30). Keynesian, but against.
    8. David Friedman, blog post.
    9. Kevin Hassett (AEI)
    10. Robert Higgs, newspaper op-ed.
    11. David Henderson
    12. Robert A. Lucas (Chicago, Nobel laureate in macro)
    13. Kevin Murphy, Chicago, WSJ with Becker.
    14. Eric Rasmusen, Keynesianism and
    15. Russell Roberts, Wash. U. , blog.
    16. A Cato Ad against stimulus was signed by me and lots of people. Here I list only those I've heard of via academic channels whom I don't list elsewhere on this webpage. There are dozens of others on the list.
      1. Mark Bils, Univ. of Rochester;
      2. Bruce Benson, Florida State University; Michele Boldrin, Washington University in St. Louis; Donald Boudreaux, George Mason University; James Buchanan, Nobel laureate; Bryan Caplan, George Mason University; Barry Chiswick, Univ. of Illinois at Chicago; Lloyd Cohen, George Mason University, email; Daniel Feenberg, National Bureau of Economic Research; Kenneth Elzinga, Univ. of Virginia; Paul Evans, Ohio State University; John Garen, Univ. of Kentucky (pdf essay); Michael Gibbs, Univ. of Chicago; Earl Grinols, Baylor University; Ronald Heiner, George Mason University; Jason Johnston, Univ. of Pennsylvania; Boyan Jovanovic, New York University; Jonathan Karpoff, Univ. of Washington; Nicholas Kiefer, Cornell University; Daniel Klein, George Mason University; Deepak Lal, UCLA; David Levine, Washington University in St. Louis; Stan Liebowitz, Univ. of Texas at Dallas; John Lott, Jr., Univ. of Maryland ($8,700 cost per taxpayer); Henry Manne, George Mason University; John Matsusaka, Univ. of Southern California; Tim Muris, George Mason University; David Mustard, Univ. of Georgia; Deirdre McCloskey, Univ. of Illinois, Chicago; Allan Meltzer, Carnegie Mellon University; James Miller III, George Mason University; Michael Munger, Duke University; Kevin Murphy, Univ. of Southern California (not the Chicago one); Richard Muth, Emory University; William Niskanen, Cato; Sam Peltzman, Univ. of Chicago; William Poole, Univ. of Delaware; Edward Prescott, Nobel laureate; Timothy Perri, Appalachian State University; Mario Rizzo, New York University; Richard Roll, Univ. of California, Los Angeles; Charles Rowley, George Mason University; Ronald Schmidt, Univ. of Rochester; Thomas Saving, Texas A&M University; Eric Schansberg, Indiana University Southeast; Avanidhar Subrahmanyam, UCLA; William Shughart II, Univ. of Mississippi (op-ed); James Smith, Western Carolina University; Vernon Smith, Nobel laureate; Richard Wagner, George Mason University; Lawrence White, Univ. of Missouri at St. Louis; Walter Williams, George Mason University;
    17. From the Boehner list: or blog page:
      1. James Kahn, New York University
      2. John Seater NC State Univ.
      3. Alan Stockman Rochester
      4. Jeff Miron, Harvard (CNN comments)
      5. David Laband, Auburn.
    18. The September 2008 letter on the Paulsen bank bailout doesn't count, because it's about a different issue. Whether someone supports spending billions on the banking system is quite different from whether they support spending billions for a fiscal stimulus.

  • I can't figure out whether they're for or against:
    1. Edward Glaeser. Seems to be for some kind of stimulus, but criticizes the kind actually passed.
    2. N. Gregory Mankiw, (New York Times, Jan 10). But see at Prof. DeLong's weblog. I should email him.
    3. Alan Viard, AEI. But see here too.
Note that TARP I, TARP II, and the stimulus bill are three separate policies, and a given economist may have any combination of views on them and be consistent in his economic outlook. I supported TARP I and oppose TARP II and the stimulus bill, for example. The list above is just about the stimulus bill.

  • World War 2: Professor Cowen: Did World War II end the Great Depression?; Professor Paul Krugman,January 23, 2009, Spending in wartime, Professor Cowen on Barro and Krugman and Rasmusen on World War II as a test of Keynesian stimulus and Professor Robert Barro, Harvard (WW 2; and "Lessons from the Great Depression for Economic Recovery in 2009," Christina D. Romer, Brookings Institution presentation, (March 9, 2009).; Thomas Sowell's end-of-New-Deal theory. Other:

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