My friend Emi Nakamura and two co-conspirators make the case for not getting rid of the American Community Survey and the Economic Census, as some in Congress want to do.
We should be trying to close the data gap with advanced countries like Norway and Denmark, rather than trying to shoot ourselves in the policy foot while deliberately falling farther behind.
Data are a public good. Governments exist to provide public goods. And really, congress people, there are so many, many, many other things to cut. Give me a budget and a pen and I'll give you a giant surplus in an hour, while not cutting any of the data and improving both welfare (in the economic sense) and economic growth. It isn't hard.
This post is also part of the "why I am not a republican" series.
Full disclosure: we tried to hire Emi and Mr. Emi (one of the co-authors) when they were first on the market but they chose to go to Columbia instead in one of those misguided choices that young people sometimes make.
Via Greg Mankiw
Who was my favorite student this term?
10 months ago