In heated debate surrounding Measures 66 and 67, dozens of economists across Oregon weighed in with their views and analysis, with the vast majority of economists favoring the measures. Though the election is behind us, it won’t be the last time that Oregon debates such important economic policy.
That’s why OSU economics professor William Jaeger thinks it is important to ask Which Economic Analyses Can Oregonians Trust? He’s blogged about it over at his OSU colleague Patrick Emerson’s The Oregon Economics Blog.
According to Jaeger, in the Measure 66 and 67 debate, “a small number of economists . . . misled Oregonians by: a) misrepresenting what scholarly economic research tells us about state and local taxes and public services, and b) portraying their own estimates as having the same credibility as published, peer-reviewed research.”
Who are these untrustworthy economists? They are none other than Randall Pozdena, Bill Conerly and Eric Fruits (and their enabler, the Cascade Policy Institute).
Jaeger expects “the usual differences of opinion among well-informed economists.” What he doesn’t like is economists who mislead the public “by misrepresenting published economic research, making public claims about findings that have not been peer-reviewed, are not based on methods and analysis that are transparent and available to the public and to other economists for inspection.”
It’s not the first time that these economists have been called out for their shoddy work. On BlueOregon, Portland economist Joe Cortright issued a damning critique of the work of Randall Pozdena, Bill Conerly and Eric Fruits. Jaeger agreed with Cortright a couple of days later in Jobs and Taxes, adding that the Pozdena, Fruits and Conerly work “does not reflect the professional standards of academic scholarship.” Jaeger went on to make the case for why Measures 66 and 67 are good for the economy and challenged Oregon to better “prepar[e] Oregon’s workers to compete for those jobs that are created” by Measures 66 and 67. Last but not least, the nationally renowned Tax Policy Center also took Pozdena and Conerly to task for their “misleading” and “fatally flawed” analyses.
I must say that it was nice to see Jaeger note the sound approach underlying the Oregon Center for Public Policy’s work such as seeking advice from the Tax Policy Center. That’s because we believe that facts matter, unlike some others.
So check out Jaeger’s Which Economic Analyses Can Oregonians Trust? and decide for yourself which economic analyses you can trust.
Chuck Sheketoff is the executive director of the Oregon Center for Public Policy. You can sign up to receive email notification of OCPP materials at www.ocpp.org.