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Hudson Institute Releases Quarterly Survey of Economics Bloggers

Hudson Institute & Tim Kane

WASHINGTON—Top economics bloggers remain downbeat on the U.S. economy, according to the latest quarterly survey conducted by Dr. Tim Kane at Hudson Institute. Three-quarters of 48 ideologically-diverse economics bloggers described the U.S. economy as “mixed,” and most of the remainder think it is “facing recession.” Six in ten econ bloggers believe the federal government is too involved in the economy, while three in ten think it is about right. Worse, only 6 percent of respondents believe the economy is “better than official government statistics show,” while 21 percent think it is worse.

“The policy recommendations of economics bloggers are once again unorthodox, insightful, and beyond political categorization,” said Kane, who is launching a new blog with Glenn Hubbard on Thursday, August 23, called


“Giving states the power to set their own minimum wages has broad support (70 percent), even more than repealing Obamacare legislatively (57 percent). Bloggers showed their ideological diversitystrongly opposing using U.S. military force in Syria (77 percent), favoring major Pentagon budget cuts (58 percent), but also calling for a unilateral elimination of U.S. trade barriers (69 percent).”


Summary results can be seen at


Research highlights include:


  • For the first time, the survey picked up some long-term enthusiasm about job growth in the United States. Over the next three years, bloggers anticipate more growth in this category than any other. Global growth has been a constant forecast for this group, but bloggers also anticipate higher inflation and interest rates.

  • Mark Thoma (Economist’s View) asked a question about Federal Reserve policy, specifically what are the odds that the Fed will start using a rule to set interest rates that targets nominal gross domestic product. Eight of ten economics bloggers believe the odds are “low” to “zero” this will happen.

  • A separate question about interest rates found a diverse range of opinions about how they will change in the years ahead. Most respondents think rates will remain depressed, and only 14 percent believe they will rise chaotically, out of control of the central bank.

  • A final question from Kane and Hubbard (Balance of Economics) asked the bloggers whether economics are the central cause of the decline and fall of great powers in historyRome, ancient China, and the empires of Europewhich is the premise of their blog and forthcoming book. Opinion was split 50-50.

Continuing a tradition recommended by technology blogger Robert X. Cringely, the group submitted a series of haiku. This quarter, the haiku answer this riddle: What can economics tell us about the 2012 U.S. election?


Entries include:


Time again for votes, Amidst party promises, What is different?
Amol Agrawal, Mostly Economics

The only reason  this sucker is close is be-  cause Ben’s been too tight
Ryan Avent, Free exchange

Ideology not enough, brain cells required.  Someone tell Romney.
Robert Cringely, I, Cringely

Summer’s bright wishes  Pretty flowers  Winter sweeps away gently
Atanu Dey, On India’s Development

Exciting numbers!  Beat The Street’s expectations!  Later revised down.
Will Franklin,

Choose between Rand and  Republican socialist  We the People? No.
Ken Houghton, AngryBear

Four jobless summers  Dry up re-election votes  As Obama said
Tim Kane, Hudson Institute / Balance of Economics

Policywho cares?  It’s hatred of the other  that makes people vote
Arnold Kling, econLog

Snow falls on buried  Memories of promises  To make the nation rich
Megan McArdle, Asymmetrical Information

Hope springs eternal  Who can excite the masses?  Answer? Campaign bucks!
Jeff Miller, A Dash of Insight

The new Euro zone  Same as the old Euro zone  Naked emperor!
Michael Munger, Kids Prefer Cheese

Romney better pray  Unemployment still 8 plus  Come election day
Nick Schulz, AEIdeas

Bain: PE, VC?  Matters not. The real issues  No one talks about.
Wade Roush, Xconomy

We dug you a hole.  We tipped over your ladder.  Soon we will join you.
Andrew Samwick, Andrew Samwick’s Blog

Nothing to see here.  Just move along. And vote. For  Me. Your president.
David Tufte, voluntaryXchange

these are our choices?  for now, this moment, perhaps.  but what will follow?
Steve Waldman, interfluidity

Ugly election  Distorting issues by both  Can we just ignore?
John Whitehead, Environmental Economics

Trust not either side  Both gambling your future  With blind ambition
David Zetland, Aguanomics


Hudson Institute is a nonpartisan policy research organization dedicated to innovative research and analysis promoting security, prosperity, and freedom.


For more information, please contact: James Bologna: 202-974-6456, [email protected]

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