Under normal cir­cum­stances, an up-​​and-​​coming aca­d­emic might be pleased to have his work cited by a leading politi­cian in the heat of a major policy debate.

Not so Rand Ghayad, who will shortly be receiving his Ph.D. in eco­nomics from North­eastern Uni­ver­sity, and whose research on unem­ploy­ment was cited admir­ingly by Sen. Rand Paul (R-​​Ky.) in a recent essay about why extending unem­ploy­ment insur­ance is a bad thing.

The problem, Ghayad wrote in a piece for the Atlantic, is that his research implies just the oppo­site. Ghayad’s research indi­cates that employers dis­crim­i­nate against the long-​​term unem­ployed. That’s the part of his work that Paul picked up on. The phe­nom­enon, in fact, is pretty widely acknowledged.

But Ghayad says Paul’s wrong to attribute to his work the fur­ther con­clu­sion that the pro­vi­sion of unem­ploy­ment ben­e­fits for longer periods explains the per­sis­tence of unem­ploy­ment, espe­cially long-​​term unem­ploy­ment. “Just because com­pa­nies dis­crim­i­nate against the long-​​term unem­ployed doesn’t mean long-​​term ben­e­fits are to blame,” Ghayad wrote in the Atlantic. “Paul might know that if he read beyond the first line of my paper’s abstract.”

Read the article at Los Angeles Times →