The Economist e-mailed a questionnaire to 683 research associates of the National Bureau of Economic Research, America’s premier association of applied academic economists, and this was the reported result:
AS THE financial crisis pushes the economy back to the top of voters’ concerns, Barack Obama is starting to open up a clear lead over John McCain in the opinion polls. But among those who study economics for a living, Mr Obama’s lead is much more commanding. A survey of academic economists by The Economist finds the majority—at times by overwhelming margins—believe Mr Obama has the superior economic plan, a firmer grasp of economics and will appoint better economic advisers.
Now keep in mind, the 683 economists polled represent all parties and “irrespective of any party affiliation, most of them approach policy decisions with the same basic tool kit. Their assessment of the candidates’ economic credentials and plans represents an informed judgment on how well they will handle difficult trade-offs between efficiency, equity, growth and consensus-building,” the Economist reports.