Les dangers du consensus économique

PRINCETON – L'Initiative on Global Markets de l'Université de Chicago, interroge régulièrement sur les questions du jour un groupe des principaux économistes universitaires appartenant à différentes tendances politiques. Son dernier tour d'horizon a consisté à demander si le plan de relance du président Barack Obama avait contribué à réduire le chômage aux États-Unis.

Officiellement connu sous le nom d'American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (la Loi sur le redressement et les réinvestissements de 2009), ce plan a coûté plus de 800 milliards de dollars en dépenses publiques pour l'infrastructure, l'éducation, la santé, l'énergie, les incitations fiscales et les divers programmes sociaux. Mis en place au milieu d'une crise économique, il a été une réponse keynésienne classique.

Les économistes ont été quasi unanimes. Trente-six individus parmi les 37 meilleurs économistes ayant répondu à l'enquête, ont déclaré que le plan avait réussi dans son objectif avoué de réduire le chômage. L'économiste de l'Université du Michigan, Justin Wolfers, a salué le consensus dans son blog du New York Times. Il a regretté que le virulent débat public sur la question de l'effectivité de la reprise ait été totalement déconnecté par rapport à ce que les experts savent et par rapport à leur consensus.

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