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Journal of Economic Perspectives: Vol. 9 No. 3 (Summer 1995)

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Distinguished Lecture on Economics in Government: The Economist vs. Madmen in Authority

Article Citation

Sawhill, Isabel V. 1995. "Distinguished Lecture on Economics in Government: The Economist vs. Madmen in Authority." Journal of Economic Perspectives, 9(3): 3-13.

DOI: 10.1257/jep.9.3.3

Abstract

This lecture, given to the Society of Government Economists in January 1995, examines the influence of research on policy and vice versa using three widely believed propositions. The first is that government spending is wasteful or ineffective and can readily be cut back in order to reduce the deficit; the second is that welfare should be time limited and made conditional on people's behavior; the third is that education and training are (more than ever) the ticket to individual and national prosperity. The paper explores the interplay of facts of economic analysis with political and institutional constraints and public values.

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Authors

Sawhill, Isabel V. (Urban Institute)

JEL Classifications

A11: Role of Economics; Role of Economists
H11: Structure, Scope, and Performance of Government

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