On Monday, Paul Krugman argued that studies showed no correlation between unemployment benefits and rates of unemployment and criticized anyone who would still argue that paying people not to work was an incentive for them to remain jobless by saying that “too many economists refuse to accept empirical evidence that rejects their approach”, that “too many economists treat their field as a form of theology instead.”
On Tuesday, Krugman revisited the theme of unemployment benefits, but this time he argued that “all the empirical work in the world can’t answer some questions — and you can all too easily draw the wrong conclusions”, and that even if the data showed that higher unemployment was correlated with unemployment benefits, he would reject the data: “would that say that UI was hurting employment? Not necessarily, and I’d say not at all”.
No further comment necessary. Yet another case of a “heads I win, tails you lose” argument from Krugman.