Opportunity in scarcity of pro-austerity studies?

Research papers that justify today’s austerity policies are scarce, and the first thing economists teach is that scarcity creates market value. The two big jewels in the small crown of austerity justification have been the dubious Alesina-Ardagna “expansionary austerity” paper, and the Rogoff-Reinhart paper [Paul Krugman] “showing” high public debt levels to be associated with sharply lower economic growth – a result that now seems to have been built on a collection of errors and strange judgements [Herndon, Ash & Pollin, University of Massachusetts]. One could almost pity Rogoff & Reinhart if it were not that (1) the over-selling of these results [Tim Fernholz, Quartz] had done such damage, (2) they seem to have been very slow to share their data [Dean Baker], and (3) Rogoff has such form in overselling neo-liberal policies in times of economic distress, as all of you who follow the IMF’s interventions re: Argentina and Venezuela [David Rosnick & Mark Weisbrot] will of course recall.

Whether you’re crying for Rogoff and Reinhart or not, here’s a market tip: the stock of credible pro-austerity studies is low, the demand for them from policy makers is high. Make one now if you can!

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