Via David Wessel, I see that the University of Chicago has a new website with a panel of elite economists answering weekly questions. Tyler is skeptical, but I am already finding it interesting. Here, for instance, is one of the first questions posed:

Federal mandates that government purchases should be “buy American” unless there are exceptional circumstances, such as in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, have a significant positive impact on U.S. manufacturing employment.

The results are overwhelmingly against the statement. Of the 41 respondents, only 4 agree. One of them is Daron Acemoglu who, cites the work of David Autor:

4 years ago I would have disagreed. Recent evidence (Autor Dorn Hanson) suggests yes.Caveat: costs from higher prices & other inefficiencies -see background information here

Yet a few positions down in the experts panel, Autor himself disagrees, and seems to disagree that his study is useful analysis here:

Hard to believe this does much at all. But I’m speaking based on my prior. I’ve not seen any rigorous analysis.

I would like to see more from this website. A great follow-up to this would be a conversation between Autor and Acemoglu about the extent to which Aturos’ work is applicable to the question.

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