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Excellent, rdf. Everyone should read this.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Wed Apr 26th, 2006 at 11:56:18 AM EST
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It is widely accepted, particularly among economists, that employment protection legislation is one of the main reasons for high unemployment
...
In fact, the available economic evidence provides little support for the view that scaling back EPL will result in declining unemployment
<head explodes>

A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Apr 26th, 2006 at 12:03:59 PM EST
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I took that to mean they were saying that what is widely accepted is not necessarily borne out by the facts... No?
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Wed Apr 26th, 2006 at 12:29:22 PM EST
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So what does that say about economists?

A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Apr 26th, 2006 at 12:32:23 PM EST
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Allow me to reiterate the difference between economic scientists and economic propagandists. There are for more of the latter than the former and they get more coverage.
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Wed Apr 26th, 2006 at 12:40:14 PM EST
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The above was a statement by economic scientists about economic scientists, wasn't it?

A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Apr 26th, 2006 at 12:53:38 PM EST
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Perhaps it was more a statement about conventional wisdom.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Wed Apr 26th, 2006 at 12:59:29 PM EST
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They say that that particular bit of conventional wisdom is particularly widespread among economist, who should be the ones more familiar with the facts, such as
According to the OECD's 1999 evaluation of EPL, "the basic finding appears robust: overall unemployment is not significantly related to EPL strictness". The OECD's conclusion was reaffirmed in 2006 in what is perhaps the most careful test of its kind to date".
Now, does the OECD also advocate relaxing EPL as a policy in order to improve unemployment, and does the OECD qualify as an economic science or an economic propaganda outlet?

A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Apr 26th, 2006 at 01:05:45 PM EST
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The OECD leans towards the propaganda outside of their statistics dept. And even then ... the discussion of the weighing of EPL strictness is interesting and explains some of my confusion when I was reading those definitions.
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Wed Apr 26th, 2006 at 01:13:43 PM EST
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The OECD is a big set-up producing different kinds of work that do not always fall conveniently into what could be called a "line". In general, it pleads for "business-friendly" practices, and one of its productions to that end is an EPL index ranking countries according to their EPL-ness (ranking that the authors of this piece criticize).

Is the OECD science or propaganda? You tell me.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Wed Apr 26th, 2006 at 01:21:36 PM EST
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From my conversations with Economics graduate students a couple of years ago it was also hard to figure out whether academic economics was science or propaganda.

A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Apr 26th, 2006 at 01:31:27 PM EST
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It was a statement by economic scientists.
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Wed Apr 26th, 2006 at 01:05:02 PM EST
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Anyone want to diary it? Leaves me free to do something else...
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Wed Apr 26th, 2006 at 12:06:44 PM EST
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