The Reckoning

In an important exercise (and one that might give pause to anyone thinking about signing a multi-authored letter), the Institute of Economic Affairs has published a thoughtful 25-year retrospective about a 1981 letter to the Times opponents of Thatcher’s macroeconomic policies. With contributions by both signatories and non-signatories, it’s entitled Were 364 Economists All Wrong? 

Steve Nickell’s rebuttal to the critics is firm, David Laws takes the chance to paint a picture of King’s College in the 1970s and 1980s, and Derek Scott – channelling Andrew Norton – takes the view that one can gauge the accuracy of a letter from the number of signatories:

If they had been right about the 1981 Budget and its effect on the British economy, a letter from one economist would have been enough, but the fact that 364 economists signed the letter drafted in Cambridge by Professors Hahn and Neild should have been sufficient warning to anyone not involved. It may be a matter of temperament, but if all the most eminent of any profession – be they economists, teachers, churchmen or chief constables – are lined up behind a proposition, it sets alarm bells ringing in my mind.   

This entry was posted in Economics Generally. Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to The Reckoning

  1. Mike B says:

    Hi Andrew,
    That link leads to a login/password screen. But http://www.iea.org.uk/files/upld-release106pdf?.pdf seems to get the report.

Comments are closed.