Yes Virginia, economists can and do agree

The New Zealand Association of Economists and the NZ Initiative have done a survey of leading economists, and found they do agree on certain issues. The economists surveyed are not cherry picked but are Distinguished Fellows, life members, and former Presidents of the New Zealand Association of Economists or recipients of the NZIER ‘Economist of the Year’ award.

The panel of 17 includes Brian Easton, Allan Bollard and Arthur Grimes. The three propositions they agreed on were:

  • Rent controls for some rental housing units (such as in New York City) have had a positive
    impact on the amount and quality of affordable rental housing. 82% disagree and 6% agree for net disagreement of -76%.
  • The average Kiwi would be better off if more highly educated foreign workers were allowed to migrate to New Zealand each year. 88% agree and no disagree for net agreement of +88%
  • Countries that borrow in their own currency can finance as much real government spending as they want by creating money. 82% disagree and no agree for net disagreement of -82%

In the full results you can see how each economist answered the proposition, and also how confident they are in their answers.

Nine of the 17 economists said their confidence that housing controls won’t work was over 90%!

It will be interesting to see what other propositions will be surveyed in future, to see if there is a consensus.

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