Entropy in the Canadian Economics Profession: Sampling Consensus on the Major Issues
Canadian Public Policy, Vol. 14, No. 2, pp. 137-150, 1988
14 Pages Posted: 8 Jul 2011
Date Written: July 6, 2011
It is widely assumed that economists differ with each other on virtually every issue of relevance to their profession. Indeed, this supposed phenomenon is at the core of numerous jokes at their expense. Careful research, however, does not bear out this popular perception. To be sure, there is a great diversity within this academic discipline concerning matters of values and ethics. But the same could be said with regard to the political opinions of other professionals. In any case, when it comes to matters of technical expertise, that is, positive economics as opposed to normative economics, the evidence shows much less divergence on the view of Canadian practitioners. On the whole economists in Canada were found to be quite appreciative of the role of the price system as a means of allocating resources and determining outcomes. For example, only 3.8 per cent of the sample disagreed with the view that 'Tariffs and import quotas reduce general economic welfare,' and only 4.7 per cent did not concur with the statement that 'A ceiling on rents reduces the quantity and quality of housing available'.
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