Is economy facing recession? Survey says yes

Filed under News releases

Submitted by the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Using words like “uncertain,” “fragile” and “weak,” 96 percent of top economics bloggers now share a gloomy outlook on the U.S. economy. According to a new Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation survey released Oct. 31, respondents’ expectations of higher annual deficits and top marginal tax rate increases, coupled with recession concerns, are a “depressing surprise.”

For the final “Kauffman Economic Outlook: A Quarterly Survey of Leading Economics Bloggers” of 2011, the Kauffman Foundation sent invitations to more than 200 leading economics bloggers as identified in the Palgrave’s rankings. The foundation surveys the bloggers each quarter about their views of the economy, entrepreneurship and innovation.

Fully 80 percent of the top economics bloggers responding to the survey said their preferred policy option for stimulating the economy (selected from a small set of options) was to “remove restrictions on who can be ‘accredited’ investors (which the Dodd-Frank Act recently adjusted to those with $1 million net worth excluding the value of their primary residences).” More than 70 percent of the participants supported the approval of the Keystone XL Pipeline, an idea to open up more domestic areas to oil and gas exploration and drilling.

“The economics blogging community has proven to be very insightful with rich and diverse viewpoints, but by nature they understand the importance of entrepreneurship because that’s ultimately who they are,” said Tim Kane, Kauffman Foundation senior scholar. “We’ve been fortunate to aggregate the insights of top economics bloggers, including expert scholars such as Jim Hamilton at UCSD and Brad Delong at UC Berkeley, but also popular commentators outside of the ivory tower, with powerful results.”

Research highlights include: A two-thirds majority of respondents believe the government is too involved in the economy, despite the largely non-partisan identification of panel members.

Only 2 percent of  leading economics bloggers assessed the U.S. economy’s overall condition as “strong and growing,” which represented a slight improvement over last quarter, when no respondents gave this answer.

The bloggers expect global output to rise faster than anything else. A significant difference from the previous reports is that only about 50 percent of respondents anticipate employment growth in the United States. Opinion remains split about expectations of higher poverty and inequality levels, with 5 percent believing that poverty is decreasing.

When asked to consider the timeframe for the U.S. real estate market to stabilize and return to historically average home-price appreciation and foreclosure rates, only 4 percent believe the U.S. market will stabilize within 12 months while most see a timeframe of four or more  years.

The concept of a gradual gas-tax increase for additional infrastructure spending was favored by 43 percent. Another 40 percent would increase the gas tax and put revenues toward reduction of the deficit or other taxes, while only 6 percent support an outright reduction of the gasoline tax.

The fourth Quarterly Outlook features questions from six economics bloggers on issues ranging from U.S. productivity growth to China’s exchange rate. Respondents answered questions posed by Scott Sumner, TheMoneyIllusion; Michael Mandel, Mandel on Innovation and Growth; Donald Marron,; Mark Perry, Carpe Diem; Bryan Caplan, EconLog; and Jeff Miller, A Dash of Insight.

The panel also revealed their poetic talents, rising to the survey’s first-ever challenge to describe the U.S. economy in haiku. Nearly 20 haiku were submitted and subsequently voted on by more than 500 public readers. The most popular was by professor Art Diamond

jobs and Jobs are gone

need more Jobs to get more jobs

innovate to grow

Eight core questions and four topical questions were designed in coordination with a distinguished board of advisers, which included: Robert Cringely of I, Cringely; Laurie Harting of Palgrave’s EconoLog; Paul Kedrosky of Infectious Greed; Lynne Kiesling of Knowledge Problem; Donald Marron of; Mark Perry of Carpe Diem; Wade Roush of; Allison Schrager of Free Exchange; Nick Schulz of The Enterprise Blog; Yves Smith of Naked Capitalism; Alex Tabarrok of Marginal Revolution; Mark Thoma of Economist’s View.

The Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation is a private nonpartisan foundation that works to harness the power of entrepreneurship and innovation to grow economies and improve human welfare. Through its research and other initiatives, the Kauffman Foundation aims to open young people’s eyes to the possibility of entrepreneurship, promote entrepreneurship education, raise awareness of entrepreneurship-friendly policies, and find alternative pathways for the commercialization of new knowledge and technologies. Founded by late entrepreneur and philanthropist Ewing Marion Kauffman, the foundation is based in Kansas City, Mo. and has approximately $2 billion in assets. For more information, visit, and follow the Foundation on and

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