Mason in the News

Posted: February 6, 2009 at 1:00 am, Last Updated: November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

Following are highlights of national news coverage Mason recently received.

Thursday, Jan. 29,

Stimulus: To Spend or Not to Spend?

“But among top economists, there is hardly consensus about the size of these multipliers, or even agreement about the right range. Instead, we are getting the equivalent of a full-scale intellectual war, with Nobel Prize winners and leading economists actively attacking each other in public. In turn, Tyler Cowen, a conservative economist at George Mason University, wrote on his widely read blog Marginal Revolution that ‘pro-stimulus proponents are not putting up comparable empirical evidence of their own for the efficacy of fiscal policy and there is a reason for that, namely that the evidence isn’t really there.’”

Friday, Jan. 30, NPR: “Morning Edition”

In Down Economy, Layoffs Are Contagious

Tyler Cowen, professor of economics at Mason, was featured in a segment on NPR discussing the economic recession. “The economy is at a stage where it really is unraveling, but some jobs are being lost simply because other jobs are being lost. A lot of companies want to do what’s called recapitalizing, to have a larger stash of cash, because one thing about this downturn is a lot of people are saying it could last at least five years, and whether or not that’s true, the idea’s out there. So, managers think they really need to have a treasure chest.”

Sunday, Feb. 1, Chicago Daily Herald

Craving for a Quick Fix Puts Us on Thin Ice

“Economic policymaking in turbulent times is a science of single instances, meaning no science at all. When economic theories matter most – when the economy is in uncharted waters – all theories are untested. Hence attempts to derive prescriptions from the New Deal are somewhat surreal. Our language is bewitching our intelligence. Long ago ? a year ago ? Russell Roberts, economics professor at George Mason University, deplored terms that suggest economics is a science akin to medicine. With a ‘stimulus,’ of a sort that makes the legs of a dead frog twitch, the government will ‘inject’ money as a doctor gives a blood transfusion. Or as a life-reviving ‘jolt’ from a defibrillator.”

Tuesday, Feb. 3,

Recession = More Creativity + Higher Rates of Entrepreneurship

“If a downturn potentially drives creativity in large companies, it seems likely that startups would be given an even greater boost. Stephen Fuller, the Dwight Schar faculty chair and public policy professor at George Mason University, believes exactly this, that a byproduct of the current recession will be a growth in levels of creativity and the number of small businesses. Fuller explains that in good times, people stick with the status quo, but when things slow down, circumstances like unemployment will ‘activate’ an entrepreneurial drive. This is perhaps the same reason people start businesses during good times, but necessity spurs action. ‘There’s always opportunity in adversity,’ he says.’”

Thursday, Feb. 5, Fortune

Galbraith on the Crash… It Has a Familiar Ring

“Republicans have an especially lousy brand right now, so the argument resonates. Free-market economists, of course, believe the moment will pass. ‘I don’t think government will do a very good job getting us out of the crisis,’ says George Mason University economist Tyler Cowen. ‘Three years from now there will be a lot of handwringing and skepticism about why we have all this debt, and how taxes are going up, and did the stimulus really work.’”

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