Policy or Regime Uncertainty: Recovery Aborted

Bill McNabb, CEO of the Vanguard Group, in today’s WSJ op ed Uncertainty Is the Enemy of Recovery discusses Vanguard’s estimate that policy uncertainty has created a $261 billion drag on the U.S. economy.

While it is good to see policy uncertainty highlighted, the more relevant concept is Robert Higgs’s regime uncertainty as discussed in these Mises Dailies and Circle Bastiat posts:

Regime Uncertainty: Some Clarifications – Robert Higgs   – Mises Daily

Nov   19, 2012 A business-hostile administration will provoke more   apprehension than a business-friendlier administration.

Regime Uncertainty   and the Non-Recovery – Mises Economics Blog

Dec   14, 2011 Robert Higgs introduced the concept of “regime   uncertainty”, government policies and actions that threaten property   rights, in his outstanding

Malinvestment and Regime   Uncertainty – John P. Cochran – Mises

Oct   29, 2012 Robert Higgs’s concept of regime uncertainty has   caught on with businessmen and the press.


  1. I am not sure you can separate regime uncertainty from policy uncertainty. A regime may be frozen into inaction by uncertainty and generally that is a good thing. An example is most of the Clinton administration after 1992, where actually the little that was done originated in the House of Representatives.

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