What were these assumptions and predictions? In hindsight how accurate do they seem to have been?

The economic policies of Ronald Reagan and the supply side theory on which it was based continue to be among the most controversial developments in the post-World War II era. Advocates of Reaganomics argued that their supply side policies would re-invigorate the free enterprise system and restore the affluence the nation had experienced between 1946 and 1968. Critics charged, however, that Reaganomics was a reckless gamble based more on optimistic assumptions than on proven economic theory. With the perspective that more than two decades has given us, who was correct in this debate? That is, in your judgment should Reaganomics be regarded as a success, as a failure, or as something in between? Why?


· Perhaps a place to begin is with a careful analysis of the supply side theory upon which Reaganomics was based. The readings by Paul Craig Roberts, Arthur B. Laffer, and Ronald Reagan all made specific assumptions and predictions about how individuals, businesses, and the economy in general would respond to the removal of the disincentives that previous economic policies had created. What were these assumptions and predictions? In hindsight how accurate do they seem to have been?

· Walter Heller, one of the many critics of supply-side economics, made specific predictions about the impact supply-side policy would have on US economic life. In hindsight, how accurate was he?

· Economists Uwe Reinhardt and Martin Feldstein examined retrospectively the impact of Reaganonmics on the U.S. economy and reached starkly different conclusions. In your judgment who makes the more persuasive argument?

· Finally, consider Reaganomics from an empirical standpoint. The statistical package I uploaded to Blackboard should give you some basis for judging the degree to which Reaganomics fulfilled the assumptions and expectations of supply side theory. What does this evidence indicate to you

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