Dartmouth Professor on Austerity Measures

Apparently our Economics Department is a bunch of busy beavers. I just stumbled across an article in the New Statesman written by David Blanchflower (Bruce V. Rauner Professor of Economics at the College).

A not so austere picture of Mr. Blanchflower. The article presents a rather interesting view on austerity measures – and argues that they have not been successful in Portugal or in the United Kingdom. Blanchflower goes even further and argues that the austerity package in the UK has led to its current economic troubles including its at-risk credit rating. Although I am generally in support of austerity measures, I do have to admit that Blanchflower makes a lot of relevant points – and includes a fair amount of numbers in his analysis. Unfortunately, that level of rigor has become somewhat rare. His argument does seem to center around correlation – which as everyone knows does not mean causation. Just because Britain is encountering harsh economic times post-budget cuts does not necessarily mean that those difficulties were caused by the budget cuts.

Still, it is refreshing to see that the College is producing reasoned research on the current situation – and that it is being heard. In fact, Mr. Blanchflower also recently appeared on CNBC’s Squawkbox. If you have the time you might check out the clips here, here and here.


–J.P. Harrington