A Very Cool New Economics Website Courtesy of the Booth School of Business at Chicago

by robekulick

Before I start, the usual caveat applies that I’m clearly abusing and really, for all intents and purposes, misusing the word “cool”.

So today I discovered this new website sponsored by U Chicago’s Business school:

http://www.igmchicago.org/igm-economic-experts-panel

This site, among other things, poses a question to 40 or so of the world’s best academic economists and categorizes their answers to give people a sense of how much consensus their is the economics world on the issue. I’ll probably end up discussing this website a lot in the future. But to start, I want to highlight this particular poll:

IGM asked its economists the following question:

“Unless they have inside information, very few investors, if any, can consistently make accurate predictions about whether the price of an individual stock will rise or fall on a given day.”

http://www.igmchicago.org/igm-economic-experts-panel/poll-results?SurveyID=SV_cMSufGmEjNIjCza

The economists responded with an amazing degree of consensus. 55% “strongly agreed” with the statement, “40% “agreed” with the statement and no economists disagreed. (It seems like about 5% of the sample just didn’t get around to voting).

The website also allows economists to comment on their vote. I’ll share a few of them.

Austan Goolsbee, President Obama’s previous CEA chairman commented “We have at least 10,000 research papers establishing this one as a fact.”

Richard Schmalensee of MIT commented “The evidence on this one seems overwhelming.”

A few of the economists did note that they believe there are a small-cadre investors out there who may be capable of beating the market. But overall the consensus is clear – it is very unlikely that an individual investor can beat the market.

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