This is one of the hazards of being prolific. And it’s also one of the hazards of combining politics and economics.
Econ Professor Donald J. Boudreaux wrote the following letter to the New York Times:
Paul Krugman says that it is “bizarre” during today’s downturn to worry that unemployment benefits reduce people’s incentives to find jobs — indeed, that this concern is even at odds with “textbook economics” (“Senator Bunning’s Universe,” March 5).
Prof. Krugman must count himself and his wife, Robin Wells, among those who hold bizarre ideas – or who, when writing economics textbooks, misrepresent economists’ views. Here’s what they wrote on page 210 of their jointly authored textbook Macroeconomics (2nd ed.), published in 2009: “Public policy designed to help workers who lose their jobs can lead to structural unemployment as an unintended side effect. . . . In other countries, particularly in Europe, benefits are more generous and last longer. The drawback to this generosity is that it reduces a worker’s incentive to quickly find a new job. Generous unemployment benefits in some European countries are widely believed to be one of the main causes of “Eurosclerosis,” the persistent high unemployment that affects a number of European countries.”
Donald J. Boudreaux
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