I am distrustful of international economic comparisons, especially when only two countries are compared, in this instance the
Becker provides a plausible explanation of
I venture the following guess. All these countries except
In other advanced economies, higher personal savings and greater reliance on export earnings created expectations of more rapid economic recovery. Consumers would have less incentive to increase their savings further and thus reduce consumption; so businessmen could expect demand to revive sooner than in the United States. They could also expect their export markets to rebound soon, knowing that major importers of technologically advanced manufactured goods, such as
I agree with Becker that the Obama Administration’s overly ambitious legislative program and intermittent outbursts of hostility to business are hurting our economic recovery. But I would be inclined to give greater weight, in explaining our stubbornly high unemployment, to the other factors that I have mentioned.