Fiscal Stimulus: $336,000 Per Job. But…

February 17th, 2008

This one really made me think twice. Greg Mankiw does the arithmetic: $168 billion in fiscal stimulus will create 500,000 new jobs (according to Edward Lazear, chair of the Council of Economic Advisors).

That’s $336,000 per job. You have to do some awfully long-term projections and assume some kind of mighty macro effects to justify that.

But thinking again: Mankiw’s in favor of monetary stimulus–maybe less than the Fed, but still. Monetary easing spurs inflation and/or weakens the dollar. (Though at the same time it can lower the short-term cost of servicing the national debt.) What’s the net cost? What’s the cost per job created?

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