A merger of AT&T and Time Warner would likely increase consumer surplus over the ensuing decade.
Long run fiscal sustainability in the US will require some combination of cuts in currently promised Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security benefits and/or tax increases that include higher taxes on households with incomes below $250,000.
Adding new or higher import duties on products such as air conditioners, cars, and cookies — to encourage producers to make them in the US — would be a good idea.
Allowing US-based employers to hire many more immigrants with advanced degrees in science or engineering would lower (at least temporarily) the premium earned by current American workers with similar degrees.
Allowing US-based employers to hire many more immigrants with advanced degrees in science or engineering would raise per capita income in the US over time.
Because of the Brexit vote's outcome, the UK's real per-capita income level is likely to be lower a decade from now.
Because of the Brexit vote's outcome, the rest of the EU's real per-capita income level is likely to be lower a decade from now.
Granting every American citizen over 21-years old a universal basic income of $13,000 a year — financed by eliminating all transfer programs (including Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, housing subsidies, household welfare payments, and farm and corporate subsidies) — would be a better policy than the status quo.
The ratio of the 90th to the 10th percentile of the US income distribution has been unaffected by the Federal Reserve's unconventional monetary policies since the financial crisis.
The “Cadillac tax” on expensive employer-provided health insurance plans will reduce costly distortions in US health care if it is allowed to take effect as scheduled in 2018.
The four largest domestic US banks currently have around 40% of the industry’s domestic assets (an average of 10% each). In early 1998, before Glass-Steagall ended and before Citicorp merged with Travelers, they held 13.2% (an average of 3.3% each). Thirty years ago, before interstate branching was fully permitted, that combined share was around 8% (an average of 2% each).
The US financial system would contribute more to the average American's welfare if the size of US banks were capped so that none could be larger than 4% of the sector's domestic assets.
This panel explores the extent to which economists agree or disagree on major public policy issues. To assess such beliefs we assembled this panel of expert economists. Statistics teaches that a sample of (say) 40 opinions will be adequate to reflect a broader population if the sample is representative of that population.
To that end, our panel was chosen to include distinguished experts with a keen interest in public policy from the major areas of economics, to be geographically diverse, and to include Democrats, Republicans and Independents as well as older and younger scholars. The panel members are all senior faculty at the most elite research universities in the United States. The panel includes Nobel Laureates, John Bates Clark Medalists, fellows of the Econometric society, past Presidents of both the American Economics Association and American Finance Association, past Democratic and Republican members of the President's Council of Economics, and past and current editors of the leading journals in the profession. This selection process has the advantage of not only providing a set of panelists whose names will be familiar to other economists and the media, but also delivers a group with impeccable qualifications to speak on public policy matters.
Finally, it is important to explain one aspect of our voting process. In some instances a panelist may neither agree nor disagree with a statement, and there can be two very different reasons for this. One case occurs when an economist is an expert on a topic and yet sees the evidence on the exact claim at hand as ambiguous. In such cases our panelists vote "uncertain". A second case relates to statements on topics so far removed from the economist's expertise that he or she feels unqualified to vote. In this case, our panelists vote "no opinion".
The Economic Experts Panel questions are emailed individually to the members of the panel, and each responds electronically at his or her convenience. Panelists may consult whatever resources they like before answering.
Members of the public are free to suggest questions (see link below), and the panelists suggest many themselves. Members of the IGM faculty are responsible for deciding the final version of each week’s question. We usually send a draft of the question to the panel in advance, and invite them to point out problems with the wording if they see any. In response, we typically receive a handful of suggested clarifications from individual experts. This process helps us to spot inconsistencies, and to reduce vagueness or problems of interpretation.
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