Fact-independent economics

Chicago-School economists keep insisting in the face of massive layoffs that unemployment results from choice by workers, not firms. Madness!

Sure, models always abstract from reality, so necessarily some of the details don’t fit.

But some models fit worse than others. The insistence of Chicago-school economists that there’s really no such thing as involuntary unemployment, and that when measured unemployment rises the problem is on the supply side, has always been borderline insane. When Casey Mulligan keeps pushing that line as firm after firm announces massive layoffs, a refutation isn’t really necessary, or relevant. What’s needed is a diagnosis.

A second diagnosis is needed for whatever editor at the NYT decided to keep running Mulligan’s stuff after Mulligan announced in October that McCain was right, and the fundamentals of the economy strong.

Footnote And Mulligan’s attempt to portray himself as something other than a conservative ideologue and GOP hack because he teaches the Cobb-Douglas production function and someone once called Douglas a socialist would be humorous if it weren’t so pathetic.

Author: Mark Kleiman

Professor of Public Policy at the NYU Marron Institute for Urban Management and editor of the Journal of Drug Policy Analysis. Teaches about the methods of policy analysis about drug abuse control and crime control policy, working out the implications of two principles: that swift and certain sanctions don't have to be severe to be effective, and that well-designed threats usually don't have to be carried out. Books: Drugs and Drug Policy: What Everyone Needs to Know (with Jonathan Caulkins and Angela Hawken) When Brute Force Fails: How to Have Less Crime and Less Punishment (Princeton, 2009; named one of the "books of the year" by The Economist Against Excess: Drug Policy for Results (Basic, 1993) Marijuana: Costs of Abuse, Costs of Control (Greenwood, 1989) UCLA Homepage Curriculum Vitae Contact: Markarkleiman-at-gmail.com