Scholarly Comments on Academic Economics

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


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In the United States, on matters of the welfare state and the regulatory state, virtually no economist 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? The present article is a Prologue to a symposium co-sponsored by the Mercatus Center at George Mason University. This Prologue elaborates the thing to be explained, and it poses several questions. Responses to the Prologue have been contributed by Dean Baker, Andreas Bergh, Robert Higgs, Arnold Kling, Marjorie Griffin Cohen, Anthony Randazzo and Jonathan Haidt, Scott Sumner, and Cass Sunstein. The symposium can be accessed at this link.