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Knowledge isn’t power – Editor

In a letter published in the New York Times (31 March, 2014) [1] entitled ‘Knowledge Isn’t Power’ Paul Krugman drew attention to the fact that surveys from the Initiative on Global Markets, based at the University of Chicago, has been polling a panel of top economists, representing a spectrum of schools and political leanings, on questions ranging from the economics of college athletes to the effectiveness of trade sanctions.

Krugman stated: “It usually turns out that there is much less professional controversy about an issue than the cacophony in the news media might have led you to expect.”

“Professor Alberto Alesina of Harvard has claimed that cuts in government spending are actually expansionary. But relatively few economists agree, pointing to work at the International Monetary Fund and elsewhere that seems to refute his claims.”

According to Krugman: “When politicians pick and choose which experts (or in many cases, “experts”) to believe, the odds are they will choose badly. Moreover, experience shows there is no accountability in such matters.”


Editorial comment: Our readers might have ideas and suggestions for polling a panel of Australian economists – embracing a spectrum of economic thought. Please forward ideas and comments to the editor.

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