Comments on NBER Paper: "Views among Economists: Professional Consensus or Point-Counterpoint?" (by Roger Gordon, Gordon B. Dahl)

ABSTRACT: "To what degree do economists disagree about key economic questions? To provide evidence, we make use of the responses to a series of questions posed to a distinguished panel of economists put together by the Chicago School of Business. Based on our analysis, we find a broad consensus on these many different economic issues, particularly when the past economic literature on the question is large. Any differences are unrelated to observable characteristics of the Panel members, other than men being slightly more likely to express an opinion. These differences are idiosyncratic, with no support for liberal vs. conservative camps."

COMMENTS: While any consensus among a sample of economists depends on where they are from, academically speaking, and the complexity of the question (An economic projection of the GDP might not qualify as a "real" question). On the other hand, the hypothesis that there may be a consensus on general issues rather than specific issues hasn't been tested in this paper. Even so, if the sample is composed by american based economists, phds and formed by U.S. main universities, of course the probability of consensus will be higher. As for the political ideology, the questions of the paper are not exactly ideological, which is in favour of a technical consensus. Afterwards, being too explicit about an ideology doesn't have a very good effect over economists' reputation, or not Greg?


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