Are you an Eric Maskin guy? Perhaps you prefer Kenneth Judd? Maybe Pete Klenow?
A fascinating new test will tell you which famous economist your views are most similar to.
The quiz, developed by NYU Neural Science post-doctoral candidate Chris Said, pulls questions and data from the IGM Economic Experts Panel, a survey of a diverse set of economists. In real time, the quiz plots your answers on a grid against some of the world’s most respected thinkers in the field of economics, including Daron Acemoglu, Bengt Holmström, and Judith Chevalier.
Said says he coded the quiz not to highlight the disparity between the various experts views, but because there was so much similarity.
“There is a surprising amount of consensus among economists on many issues,” he says. “Progressive consumption taxes and carbon taxes are good. Personal income taxes and corporate taxes are bad. Congestion pricing is good. The mortgage deduction is bad. Marijuana should be legalized. These positions are endorsed by almost every economist, both from the left and the right, but politicians in Washington tend to support the opposite.”
When you take the quiz, a pink dot on the right hand side of the screen becomes a graphical representation of your answers and is plotted against the blue dots of the famous economists. As you fill in more answers, you get a better idea which economist you think like, and your dot stops landing wildly around the grid, settling on a single person. Said says twenty questions is a good benchmark to get a representative answer. After twenty questions, the quiz revealed that Yale professor Christopher Udry was my econ doppelganger.
Keep in mind, these questions are no joke, and many, I suspect will choose the “Neutral” option, as I did for some questions. A better way to use the quiz, though is to abstain from such questions and answer only those you have a solid opinion on.
The questions run the gamut from “Infrastructure”:
“Because the US has underspent on new projects, maintenance, or both, the federal government has an opportunity to increase average incomes by spending more on roads, railways, bridges and airports.”
“A bitcoin’s value derives solely from the belief that others will want to use it for trade, which implies that its purchasing power is likely to fluctuate over time to a degree that will limit its usefulness.”
…to “High-Skilled Immigrants”:
“The average US citizen would be better off if a larger number of highly educated foreign workers were legally allowed to immigrate to the US each year.”
…to “Japan’s Deflation”
“The persistent deflation in Japan since 1997 could have been avoided had the Bank of Japan followed different monetary policies.”