Kauffman Releases Findings in Its Second 'Economic Outlook: A Quarterly Survey of Leading Economics Bloggers
The U.S. economy's continued expansion gives leading economics bloggers a more balanced -- if not exactly sunny -- outlook than last quarter, according to a new Kansas City-based Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation survey released. The U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis' advance report, released last Friday, shows a 3.2 percent growth rate (annualized) of gross domestic product during the first quarter of 2010. Anticipating positive movement in the GDP and other key indicators, 59 percent of economics bloggers who responded to the mid-April survey described the economy's overall condition as "mixed," with the rest evenly split between positive and negative assessments. A third of respondents believe the economy is "worse than official government statistics show" while just 14 percent say it is "better."
For this second Kauffman Economic Outlook: A Quarterly Survey of Leading Economics Bloggers, (www.kauffman.org/outlook) the Kauffman Foundation sent invitations to more than 200 leading economics bloggers as identified in the Palgrave's econolog.net December 2009 rankings. The Foundation surveys the bloggers each quarter about their views of the economy, entrepreneurship and innovation.
"The American economy is in a state as transitional and uncertain as it can be, and this quarter's survey provides some priceless perspectives on the danger spots," said Tim Kane, senior fellow at the Kauffman Foundation and author of the study. "In fact, some of the policy recommendations emerging from this survey have an overwhelming level of support that we wouldn't have anticipated given the ideological balance among respondents."
Research highlights include:
- The bloggers expect the greatest growth over the next three years to be in interest rates, with the U.S. budget deficit expected to grow at about the same rate as global output, U.S. inflation and U.S. employment. Three-year projections also include expected increases in poverty and inequality levels in the United States and potentially a slight decline in U.S. competitiveness.
- Respondents rate overall business conditions as "mostly fair, partly bad," but a majority believe conditions for small business in particular are "bad" or "very bad."
- 63 percent of the surveyed bloggers say the federal government is too involved in economic matters. Half favor more financial regulation, compared to 10 percent who favor increased business regulation, and 94 percent oppose higher taxes or investment.
- A strong majority of bloggers -- 80 percent -- want Congress to "create a visa for entrepreneurial immigrants."
- The second Quarterly Outlook features questions from five economics bloggers on issues ranging from the long-range U.S. budget outlook to the future viability of China's economy. Respondents answered questions posed by Tyler Cowen, Marginal Revolution; Ken Houghton, Angry Bear; Arnold Kling, EconLog; Mark Perry, Carpe Diem; and Mark Thoma, Economist's View.
"While 80 percent of the respondents seem to expect a U.S. debt crisis by 2050, at least 75 percent of those do not expect the dollar to lose its place as the world's reserve currency," said Ken Houghton, co-author of the blog Angry Bear, commenting on responses to his survey question. "Most economists surveyed appear to believe the interconnectedness of the world economy will limit any advantage of a reasonable, effective response by other economies to a U.S. debt crisis."