Friday, October 3, 2008

What Presidential Candidate Do Economists Prefer?

Paul Krugman had a recent column in the NY Times titled The 3 A.M. Call. Here is the lead paragraph:
It’s 3 a.m., a few months into 2009, and the phone in the White House rings. Several big hedge funds are about to fail, says the voice on the line, and there’s likely to be chaos when the market opens. Whom do you trust to take that call?
Krugman makes clear his preference, but what about other prominent economists? Who would they want to take the call? The Economist magazine now has a tentative answer. The magazine polled the economists associated with the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER), an association of leading research economists. The poll was not favorable to McCain. Here is the summary figure from the article (click to enlarge):

I found this paragraph from the article to be interesting:
A candidate’s economic expertise may matter rather less if he surrounds himself with clever advisers. Unfortunately for Mr McCain, 81% of all respondents reckon Mr Obama is more likely to do that; among unaffiliated respondents, 71% say so. That is despite praise across party lines for the excellent Doug Holtz-Eakin, Mr McCain’s most prominent economic adviser and a former head of the Congressional Budget Office. “Although I have tended to vote Republican,” one reply says, “the Democrats have a deep pool of talented, moderate economists.”
McCain, however, did edge Obama on free trade and globalization issues. McCain also did better in a survey given to industry economists back in May. I wonder if industry economists still favor McCain today.

Read the rest of the article.

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