New Paper Suggests Self-Described Progressives Are Economically Illiterate

Cross posted from The Humble Libertarian:

At Econ Journal Watch, Zeljka Buturovic and Dan Klein have a paper with results that Todd Zywicki calls “startling,” but which don’t surprise me at all. Todd summarizes:

  • 67% of self-described Progressives believe that restrictions on housing development (i.e., regulations that reduce the supply of housing) do not make housing less affordable.
  • 51% believe that mandatory licensing of professionals (i.e., reducing the supply of professionals) doesn’t increase the cost of professional services.
  • Perhaps most amazing, 79% of self-described Progressive believe that rent control (i.e., price controls) does not lead to housing shortages.

Please read the rest of Todd’s article at the Volokh Conspiracy. It’s very brief and he makes the exactly correct observations about these findings, deftly and humorously lambasting this collective willful ignorance. Last tidbit from Todd:

Those identifying as “libertarian” and “very conservative” were the most knowledgeable about basic economics. Those identifying as “Progressive” and “Liberal” were the worst.

Yup. Deal with it.

Hat tip: Andrew Sullivan

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