EconoMonitor

Economics Blog Aggregator

    United States

  • Cafe Hayek - Article Feed

    Quotation of the Day…

    (Don Boudreaux) … is from page 63 of the 1997 Johns Hopkins University Press edition of H.L. Mencken’s 1956 collection, Minority Report: The fact that I have no remedy for all the sorrows of the world is no reason for my accepting yours.  It simply supports the strong probability that yours is a fake. ...more

    Link ›

  • The Big Picture

    10 Sunday Reads

    My Sunday morning reads: • Billions in Lost 401(k) Savings, Abusive Brokers Under White House Scrutiny (Bloomberg) • How Economists Came to Dominate the Conversation (Upshot) • How Super Was Mario? (Krugman) see also World’s Most Reluctant Stimulus Program Gets Underway (Reformed Broker) • Shilling: Nothing Is Going to Save the Housing Market (BV) • Play football like the Seahawks but invest like the Packers (Josh Maher) • Here Are The 5 Factors That Determine Your Credit Score (Business Insider) • A Quiet Revolution in Helping Lift the Burden of Student Debt (NYT) • People Are Talking About Michael Bloomberg Buying the New York Times, Including Michael Bloomberg (NY Mag) • America’s best-selling cars and trucks are built on lies: The ris...more

    Link ›

  • naked capitalism

    Links 1/25/15

    Link ›

  • naked capitalism

    The Destructive Effect of Getting a Permission Slip from the CBO in the Politics of Health Care

    Link ›

  • The Big Picture

    ECB, Euro, USD, Interest Rates

    ECB, Euro, USD, Interest Rates David R. Kotok Cumberland, January 24, 2015     After a two-and-a-half-year wait for “whatever it takes,” the quantitative easing (QE) announced this week by the European Central Bank (ECB) is different from the QE undertaken by the Federal Reserve (Fed) during and after the financial crisis and now completed. The European action comes in the aftermath of the Fed’s programs and is a European attempt to confront complex economics.  In the 2008–2014 Fed version, QE injected liquidity into markets that were frozen. More QE was then piled on as the Fed expanded its holdings of federally backed securities. A single sovereign guaranteed that debt, and that was the United States government. The QE process quickly drove the shor...more

    Link ›

  • naked capitalism

    Getting Out of Our Lanes: Understanding Discrimination in the Digital Economy

    Link ›

  • The Housing Bubble Blog

    Bits Bucket for January 25, 2015

    Post off-topic ideas, links, and Craigslist finds here.

    Link ›

  • Economist's View

    Links for 01-25-15

    Robert Reich on Redefining Full-Time Work, Obamacare... - HBR Economic Freedom and Tolerance - NYTimes.com Trichet V Democracy - Robert Waldmann Wealth is not income and income is not consumption - globalinequality "What then should we teach about hypothesis testing?" - Andrew Gelman MI Forum: Hall of Mirrors by Barry Eichengreen - YouTube ...more

    Link ›

  • Brad DeLong's Grasping Reality...

    Linky Linky...

    Arun Garg: Value Investing as Software Eats the World http://arunsplace.com/2014/09/23/the-challange-of-value-investing-as-software-eats-the-world Andrea Matranga: Climate-driven technical change: seasonality and the invention of agriculture http://www.andreamatranga.net/uploads/1/5/0/6/15065248/andrea-matranga-jmp---nov07.pdf Ann Friedman: Can We Solve Our Child-Care Problem? http://nymag.com/thecut/2015/01/can-we-solve-our-child-care-problem.html Heather Boushey: The leap not taken: Wage growth | Marketplace.org http://www.marketplace.org/topics/economy/leap-not-taken-wage-growth#.VMOS1SiK6fI.twitter Simon Wren-Lewis: Alternative Eurozone Histories http://mainlymacro.blogspot.com/2015/01/alternative-eurozone-histories.html Dean Baker: "Several readers sen[t] me a b...more

    Link ›

  • Econbrowser

    Quasi-Stylized Facts about Employment after Troughs

    Reader rtd writes: “…it is virtually guaranteed that after a nation’s business cycle trough, that same nation’s employment growth will display an upward trend”;, but when asked about the euro area, argues “The Eurozone is a conglomerate of nations with varying fiscal policies, ideologies, cultures, and the list goes on and on. Please don’t compare apples with hand grenades.” So here is the case where employment does not rise relative to trough. Figure 1: Log employment in euro area 18 (fixed composition), seasonally adjusted. CEPR defined recession dates shaded gray; end date for second recession is from OECD. Source: ECB, CEPR, OECD via FRED, and author’s calculations. Inspection of US data indicates that employment falls for ...more

    Link ›

  • The Big Picture

    Comedians In Cars Getting Coffee: Kevin Hart

    Source: Comedians In Cars Getting Coffee

    Link ›

  • Brad DeLong's Grasping Reality...

    Yes. Actual English Politics in the Fifteenth Century Was Weirder than Anything in "Game of Thrones". Why Do You Ask?

    "[Richard Duke of] York ran into severe difficulty in early 1456.... His authority was almost visibly ebbing away. In public he was scorned: a display of five severed dogs’ heads was erected on Fleet Street in London in September, with each dog’s dead mouth bearing a satirical poem against York, 'that man that all men hate'...” --Dan Jones: The Wars of the Roses: The Fall of the Plantagenets and the Rise of the Tudors ...more

    Link ›

  • Economist's View

    US/Euro Foreign Exchange Rate

    “A strong dollar has always been a good thing for the United States,” Treasury Secretary Jacob J. Lew declared not long ago, a position that he has restated frequently. In 2011, Timothy F. Geithner, then the Treasury secretary, said, “A strong dollar will always be in the interest of the United States.” But is it really a good thing — for the United States and the global economy? ...more

    Link ›

  • Brad DeLong's Grasping Reality...

    Liveblogging the American Revolution: January 25, 1777: Massachusetts Raises Troops for the Continental Army

    Link ›

  • Cafe Hayek - Article Feed

    Where Nudging Leads

    (Don Boudreaux) My Mercatus Center colleague Carrie Conko just alerted me to Julian Le Grand’s and Bill New’s new book, Government Paternalism: Nanny State or Helpful Friend?.  I have not yet read this book, so I can’t offer an opinion on it.  But its publication does provide an opportunity for me to mention a relevant passage in Albert Venn Dicey’s monumental 1905 study, Lectures on the Relation Between Law & Public Opinion in England During the Nineteenth Century.  This passage (from pages 264-265) serves as a warning that nudging – or “libertarian paternalism” as it was originally called – poses a greater threat to freedom of contract than its proponents believe. Law-making of this sort [i.e., legislation meant...more

    Link ›

  • Economist's View

    'Throw More Money at Education'

    This was retweeted a surprising number of times: Throw More Money at Education, by Noah Smith: It’s become almost conventional wisdom that throwing more money at public education doesn’t produce results. But what if conventional wisdom is wrong? A new paper from economists C. Kirabo Jackson, Rucker Johnson and Claudia Persico suggests ... that spending works. Specifically, they find that a 10 percent increase in spending, on average, leads children to complete 0.27 more years of school, to make wages that are 7.25 percent higher and to have a substantially reduced chance of falling into poverty. These are long-term, durable results. Conclusion: throwing money at the problem works. Here’s the hitch: The authors find that the benefits of increased spending are muc...more

    Link ›

  • Calculated Risk

    Schedule for Week of January 25, 2015

    The key reports this week are the advance estimate of Q4 GDP, December New Home sales, and November Case-Shiller house prices.For manufacturing, the January Dallas and Richmond Fed surveys will be released this week.----- Monday, January 26th -----10:30 AM: Dallas Fed Manufacturing Survey for January.----- Tuesday, January 27th -----8:30 AM: Durable Goods Orders for December from the Census Bureau. The consensus is for a 0.7% increase in durable goods orders.9:00 AM: S&P/Case-Shiller House Price Index for November. Although this is the November report, it is really a 3 month average of September, October and November prices.This graph shows the nominal seasonally adjusted National Index, Composite 10 and Composite 20 indexes through the October 2014 report...more

    Link ›

  • Beat the Press

    Did the Keynesians Get It Wrong in Predicting a Recession in 2013?

    Link ›

  • The Housing Bubble Blog

    Once You Start Deflating A Bubble…

    This is a weekend topic on the effects of Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, the Federal Reserve’s bond ownership and deflation. From the CBO’s report, WARNING PDF. “Outlays increased for several major categories of spending: Outlays rose for the each of the three largest mandatory programs: Medicare,by $18 billion (or 15 percent), primarily because ofa large payment made to prescription drug plans in November 2014 to account for unanticipated spending increases in calendar year 2014; Medicaid, by $16 billion (or 23 percent), largely because some of the provisions of the Affordable Care Act did not take effect until January 2014; and Social Security benefits,by $9 billion (or 4 percent).” “Much of the increase in spending occurred because payments to...more

    Link ›

  • Fabius Maximus

    Understanding 4GW, the first step to winning the Long War

    Link ›

  • Greg Mankiw's Blog

    The Rise of Economists

    Justin Wolfers documents: in recent years around one in 100 [New York Times] articles mentions the term “economist,” ....Far fewer articles mention the terms historian or psychologist, while sociologists, anthropologists and demographers rarely rate a mention....more

    Link ›

  • Beat the Press

    Joe Nocera on Politicians and Trade

    Link ›

  • Cafe Hayek - Article Feed

    Well, If THAT’S Its Only Ill Effect….

    (Don Boudreaux) Here’s a letter to the Wall Street Journal: In his superb article “’Secular Stagnation’ and the Cheap Burger” (Jan. 24), Holman Jenkins quotes New Yorker columnist John Cassidy’s curious defense of minimum-wage legislation - namely, Cassidy’s observation that the negative impact of such legislation is “usually confined to teenagers and unskilled workers.” Well duh.  Is Cassidy unaware that the core of the case against the minimum wage is precisely that it prices out of jobs many teenagers and other unskilled workers?  Of course the minimum wage negatively affects only workers so unskilled that they cannot produce enough value to justify their being employed at wages as high as the government-mandated minimum.  No opponent of th...more

    Link ›

  • Calculated Risk

    Unofficial Problem Bank list declines to 390 Institutions

    This is an unofficial list of Problem Banks compiled only from public sources.Here is the unofficial problem bank list for Jan 23, 2015. Changes and comments from surferdude808: For the second straight week, there is a bank failure that contributed to changes to the Unofficial Problem Bank List. In all, there were two removals that lowered the list count to 390 institutions with assets of $122.5 billion. A year ago, the list held 600 institutions with $197.9 billion in assets.Valley National Bank, Espanola, NM ($174 million), which has been on the list since its first publication in 2009, found a merger partner in order to escape the list. Highland Community Bank, Chicago, IL ($58 million) was closed today by the FDIC. It was the 62nd bank headquartered in Illinois...more

    Link ›

  • The Capital Spectator

    Book Bits | 24 January 2015

    Link ›

  • The Housing Bubble Blog

    Bits Bucket for January 24, 2015

    Post off-topic ideas, links, and Craigslist finds here.

    Link ›

  • Calculated Risk

    Bank Failure #2 in 2015: Highland Community Bank, Chicago, Illinois

    Another failure in Illinois, from the FDIC: United Fidelity Bank, fsb, Evansville, Indiana, Assumes All of the Deposits of Highland Community Bank, Chicago, IllinoisAs of December 31, 2014, Highland Community Bank had approximately $54.7 million in total assets and $53.5 million in total deposits. ... The FDIC estimates that the cost to the Deposit Insurance Fund (DIF) will be $5.8 million. ... Highland Community Bank is the second FDIC-insured institution to fail in the nation this year, and the first in Illinois. The last FDIC-insured institution closed in the state was The National Republic Bank of Chicago, Chicago, on October 24, 2014.It feels like a Friday. Best to all! ...more

    Link ›

  • All HW content

    Ocwen sued by investors for mortgage payment negligence

    Link ›

  • All HW content

    Zillow plans event to “hack” housing

    Link ›

  • All HW content

    Rarity: BofA celebrates new branch opening in Denver

    Link ›

  • Fabius Maximus

    Jihadists will prosper using the methods of America’s entrepreneurs.

    Link ›

  • Econbrowser

    Private Employment under Obama and Bush

    Reader Move On admonishes me to … move on. So here is job creation in this Administration, in comparative perspective. Figure 1: Log private nonfarm private employment normalized to 2009M01 (blue), and to 2001M01 (red). Source: BLS, and author’s calculations. Figure 2 presents private employment normalized on the relevant troughs (as defined by the NBER). Figure 2: Log private nonfarm private employment normalized to 2009M06 (blue), and to 2001M11 (red). Source: BLS, NBER, and author’s calculations. The astute observer will note the deceleration in employment growth as one moves toward the end of the G.W. Bush Administration. In fact, private employment was 462,000 less at the end of the G.W. Bush administration than at the beginning, i.e., -0.4% lo...more

    Link ›

  • Beat the Press

    Ubernomics

    Link ›

  • The Capital Spectator

    The Long-Suffering “Average” Investor

    Link ›

  • The Capital Spectator

    Initial Guidance | 23 January 2015

    Link ›

  • Fabius Maximus

    Business 101 tells us what to expect next from jihadists: goods news for them, bad for us.

    Link ›

  • Econbrowser

    Wisconsin: Only 93,200 Net New Jobs Needed in January 2015 to Hit Governor Walker’s 250,000 Jobs Target

    According to WI DWD statistics released today. Figure 1: Wisconsin private nonfarm payroll employment (red), and linear trend implied by Governor Walker’s 250,000 net new private sector jobs pledge (gray). Dashed line at beginning of Walker administration. Governor Walker recommits to 250,000 net new jobs in August 2013. Source: WI DWD, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, and author’s calculations. Since average net job creation in Wisconsin under Governor Walker has been 3.3 thousand, with a standard deviation of 4.7 thousand, the likelihood that the target will be achieved is low. But then, as a government official wrote to me on May 16, 2012: “The adminstration assumed that the jobs gains would be back loaded — ramping up with time.” So perhap...more

    Link ›

  • Paul Krugman

    How Super Was Mario? (Wonkish)

    Link ›

  • Paul Krugman

    Insiders, Outsiders, and U.S. Monetary Policy

    Link ›

  • ProfessorBainbridge.com

    And thy say conservatives are anti-science? How about the anti-vaccers?

    WaPo: Seth Mnookin, a journalist who's chronicled the anti-vaccination movement, observed a few years ago that you only had to go visit a Whole Foods to find anti-vaxxers. Now, it doesn't seem that... [[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website for full links, other content, and more! ]] ...more

    Link ›

  • Dr. Housing Bubble Blog

    The search for the smallest home in Los Angeles currently for sale: 3 properties in various parts of L.A. Washington Mutual sins still relevant in 2015.

    Link ›

  • Paul Krugman

    Paging Robert Burns

    Link ›

  • ProfessorBainbridge.com

    Want to solve the law school scam? Expose law schools to a market for control

    If you think of law schools as companies selling a product, our customer base has skrunk dramatically and continues to shrink: The number of people applying to law school is down 8.5% compared to... [[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website for full links, other content, and more! ]] ...more

    Link ›

  • Tim Duy's Fed Watch

    Policy Divergence

    Increasingly, the Federal Reserve stands in stark contrast with its global counterparts. While the ECB readys its own foray into quantitative easing, the Bank of England shifted to a more dovish internal position, the central bank of Denmark joined the Swiss in cutting rates, and the Bank of Canada unexpectedly cut rates 25bp this morning. The latter move I found somewhat unsurprising given the likely impact of oil prices on the Canadian economy. The rest of the world is diverging from US monetary policy.  How long can the Fed continue to stand against this tide? Late last week, Reuters reported that the Fed's resolve was stiffening. This week, the Wall Street Journal reported the Fed was staying the course. This morning, Bloomberg says the Fed is getting weak in the ...more

    Link ›

  • ProfessorBainbridge.com

    Sponsored posts: never had 'em, never will

    I was amused, puzzled, and mildly annoyed by this post at Prawfsblawg: You may have noticed a recent "sponsored post" on our feed, and there were some questions from our valued readers about it.... [[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website for full links, other content, and more! ]] ...more

    Link ›

  • The Baseline Scenario

    Shareholders, Managers, and Capitalism

    Link ›

  • Paper Economy - A US Real Estate Bubble Blog

    New Residential Construction Report: December 2014

    Today’s New Residential Construction Report showed mixed results with total permit activity declining 1.9% since November while total starts increased 4.4% over the same period.Single family housing permits, the most leading of indicators, increased 4.5% from November to 667K single family units (SAAR), and rose 8.1% below the level seen in December 2013 and still remained well below levels seen at the peak in September 2005. ...more

    Link ›

  • Paper Economy - A US Real Estate Bubble Blog

    Reading Rates: MBA Application Survey – January 21 2015

    The Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) publishes the results of a weekly applications survey that covers roughly 50 percent of all residential mortgage originations and tracks the average interest rate for 30 year and 15 year fixed rate mortgages as well as the volume of both purchase and refinance applications. The purchase application index has been highlighted as a particularly important data series as it very broadly captures the demand side of residential real estate for both new and existing home purchases. The latest data is showing that the average rate for a 30 year fixed rate mortgage (from FHA and conforming GSE data) decreased 5 basis points to 3.77% since last week while the purchase application volume declined 3% and the refinance application volume j...more

    Link ›

  • Paper Economy - A US Real Estate Bubble Blog

    NAHB/Wells Fargo Home Builder Sentiment: January 2015

    Today, the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) released their latest Housing Market Index (HMI) showing that overall assessments of housing activity went flat in January with the composite HMI index remaining at 57 while the "buyer traffic" index declined to a level of 44 from 46 in the prior month.Overall, conditions for new home construction appear to have softened some recently and still remain below the peak assessments see prior to the Great Recession. ...more

    Link ›

  • Richard's Real Estate and Urban Economics Blog

    How choosing the right discount rate matters to Max Scherzer

    My student Hyojung Lee sent me to a cute article about how Max Scherzer's $210 million contract is not really a $210 million contract.  Because Scherzer is getting $15 million per year over 14 years, the present value of the contract is substantially less than $210 million; it is also worth less than a contract that pays $30 million per year over the seven years he is expected to pitch.But Dave Cameron (the author of the piece) assigns a 7 percent discount rate to the contract.  The present value of $15 million per year over 14 years at a 7 percent discount rate is about $131 million. He chose 7 percent as the discount rate because that is the expected long run return of investing in the stock market.A contract is not, however, like a stock.  It is a bond...more

    Link ›

  • Tim Duy's Fed Watch

    Seconded

    I see Jon Hilsenrath at the Wall Street Journal seconds my take from this morning: Federal Reserve officials are on track to start raising short-term interest rates later this year, even though long-term rates are going in the other direction amid new investor worries about weak global growth, falling oil prices and slowing consumer price inflation. This is generally consistent with my view. The Fed is likely reacting more slowly than market participants. Hilsenrath adds something I forgot to mention: Central to their internal deliberations ahead of the March meeting is a debate about how low the jobless rate can fall before it stirs wage and inflation pressure. Fed officials estimate the “natural rate” of unemployment—meaning the rate below which wage pressu...more

    Link ›

  • Tim Duy's Fed Watch

    Will The Fed Take a Dovish Turn Next Week?

    As it stands now, we are heading into the next FOMC meeting with the growing expectation that the Fed will take a dovish turn. Is it not obvious that global economic turmoil, collapsing oil prices, weak inflation, and a stronger dollar are clearly pointing to rapidly rising downside risks to the US economy? For financial market participants, they answer is a clear "yes." Expectations of the first rate hike have been pushed out  to the end of this year, seemingly in complete defiance of Fed plans for policy normalization. The Fed may get there as well and abandon their carefully crafted mid-year plan, but I suspect they will not move quite as rapidly as financial market participants desire. As a general rule, the Fed tends to act in a more deliberate fashion. To be sur...more

    Link ›

  • Dr. Housing Bubble Blog

    Rents and housing prices unaffordable to middle class in Los Angeles: The typical LA renter needs to earn $33 an hour just to afford a basic apartment.

    Link ›

  • Robert Reich

    The New Compassionate Conservatism and Trickle-Down Economics

    Link ›

  • Greg Mankiw's Blog

    The most fiscally responsible country

    As seen by Larry Kotlikoff.

    Link ›

  • Greg Mankiw's Blog

    What good are economists?

    Bob Shiller gives a nice answer.

    Link ›

  • macroblog

    Contrasting the Financing Needs of Different Types of Firms: Evidence From a New Small Business Survey

    The National Federation of Independent Business's (NFIB) small business optimism index surpassed 100 in December, a sign that small business' outlook on the economy has now reached "normal" long-run average levels. But that doesn't mean that everything is moonlight and roses for small firms. One question from the NFIB's survey (one that is not used in its overall optimism index) concerns a firm's ability to obtain credit. The survey asks, "During the last three months, was your firm able to satisfy its borrowing needs?" The chart below shows the net percent (those responding "yes" minus those saying "no") of firms reporting improving credit access. table { font: inherit; font-size: 90%; } .citation, .byline { font-style: italic; } .centeredImage { display: block !imp...more

    Link ›

  • The Baseline Scenario

    Vote in the Democratic Shadow Primary Now: Support Elizabeth Warren

    Link ›

  • Dr. Housing Bubble Blog

    Who needs a mortgage? Mortgage applications running near multi-decade lows while mortgage rates fall.

    Link ›

  • Robert Reich

    Why Wages Won't Rise

    Link ›

  • Macro and Other Market Musings

    Don't Worry, Be Happy: Falling Treasury Yields Edition

    Link ›

  • macroblog

    Gauging Inflation Expectations with Surveys, Part 3: Do Firms Know What They Don’t Know?

    In the previous two macroblog posts, we introduced you to the inflation expectations of firms and argued that the question you ask matters a lot. In this week's final post, we examine another important dimension of our data: inflation uncertainty, a topic of some deliberation at the last Federal Open Market Committee meeting (according to the recently released minutes). Survey data typically measure only the inflation expectation of a respondent, not the certainty surrounding that prediction. As a result, survey-based measures often use the disagreement among respondents as a proxy for uncertainty, but as Rob Rich, Joe Tracy, and Matt Ploenzke at the New York Fed caution in this recent blog post, you probably shouldn't do this. Because we derive business inflation exp...more

    Link ›

  • The Baseline Scenario

    The Republican Strategy To Repeal Dodd-Frank

    Link ›

  • macroblog

    Gauging Inflation Expectations with Surveys, Part 2: The Question You Ask MattersA Lot

    In our previous macroblog post, we discussed the inflation expectations of firms and observed that—while on average these expectations look similar to that of professional forecasters—they reveal considerably more variation of opinion. Further, the inflation expectations of firms look very different from what we see in the household survey of inflation expectations. The usual focal point when trying to explain measurement differences among surveys of inflation expectations is the respondent, or who is taking the survey. In the previous macroblog post, we noted that some researchers have indicated that not all households are equally informed about inflation trends and that their expectations are somehow biased by this ignorance. For example, Christopher Car...more

    Link ›

  • Dani Rodrik's weblog

    Greek elections, democracy, political trilemma, and all that

    Two-and-a-half years ago I wrote a short piece titled "The End of the World as We Know It" which began like this: Consider the following scenario. After a victory by the left-wing Syriza party, Greece’s new government announces that it wants to renegotiate the terms of its agreement with the International Monetary Fund and the European Union. German Chancellor Angela Merkel sticks to her guns and says that Greece must abide by the existing conditions. Fearing that a financial collapse is imminent, Greek depositors rush for the exit. This time, the European Central Bank refuses to come to the rescue and Greek banks are starved of cash. The Greek government institutes capital controls and is ultimately forced to issue drachmas in order to supply domestic liq...more

    Link ›

  • Robert Reich

    Why the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement is a Pending Disaster

    Link ›

  • Macro and Other Market Musings

    Solving the ZLB Problem without Eliminating Cash

    Link ›

  • Dani Rodrik's weblog

    Levels of intellectual responsibility

    This piece on “Erdogan’s Willing Enablers” prompts me to put down a few thoughts on the role that various members of the Turkish media and intelligentsia have played in enabling the steady deterioration of the political climate in Turkey over the last decade. What stands out with these intellectuals is that, even if they were not in all cases liberal in outlook, they all claimed to espouse values consistent with Western democracy: respect for human rights, civil liberties, and the rule of law.    I don’t want to go over the entire saga of how leading Turkish intellectuals continually misrepresented what was happening over this period and bought into the Gulenist narrative, while overlooking the accumulating repression of media freedoms and violations...more

    Link ›

  • Macro and Other Market Musings

    Farewell Secular Stagnation

    Link ›

  • Richard's Real Estate and Urban Economics Blog

    Is Houston really vulnerable to recession? {Updated answer: maybe}

    So after reading Paul Krugman's prediction that Texas was vulnerable, I did two things I should have done before.First, I looked to see whether the share of jobs in the mineral industry in Houston now are any lower than they were in 1986 (the first year for which I could easily download data).  The answer is that, if anything, it is slightly more reliant now. Second, I plotted the unemployment rates for Houston and the US against real oil prices.  This is what I found:Two things: Houston's unemployment moves with the business cycle (so the stronger US economy should help it), but also that the relative unemployment rate of Houston fell as the real price of oil rose between 2000 and 2007.We can summarize this in a regression:HOUE - USUE = -1.5 -.83 ln(real oil ...more

    Link ›

  • Richard's Real Estate and Urban Economics Blog

    The limits of knowledge in economics, Part V

    How much does it cost you to live in your house?  If you are a renter, the answer to that question is fairly straightforward (although if your rent includes a gym membership and heat, it is not clearcut what the simple cost of occupying your place is).But suppose you are an owner.  What is it costing you every month or every year to live in your house?  The truth is, you don't know with a great deal of precision, and neither does anyone else.There are two ways to look at the issue.  One is to look at something called owner's equivalent rent. In principle, one could determine owner's equivalent by offering her house for rent, and seeing what it would fetch in the rental market.  Needless to say, owners don't do this very often.  Another way ...more

    Link ›

  • Piggington's Econo-Almanac

    November 2014 Housing Data Rodeo

    Link ›

  • Rick Bookstaber

    Ex Ante versus Ex Post Social Policy

    I have written various posts on social policy related to the question of whether and how we redistribute income. One argument of equal opportunity and social egalitarianism is that it is fair to control for the randomness of life. For example, take the luck of the draw in who your parents are. If your best career choice was to be born into a wealthy family, if you got ahead because your father could pull strings to get you an internship at a big investment bank; because you built up your high school resume by spending a summer building houses in Tibet while a classmate had to spend the summer working at the 7-11; or because you could afford two years of one-on-one tutoring for the SAT, the result might be to score higher in an objective standard of selection and have a ...more

    Link ›

  • Rick Bookstaber

    On Death with Dignity

    We take the will to live as a positive attribute, and naturally so; it is, of course in our genes.  Whatever subset of our species took a lackadaisical view toward the prospect of death was screened out long ago. We look with admiration on those who battle against terminal illness --  “She’s a real fighter” -- and look down on those who take their own lives. Fighting for your life is the genetic prime directive.   Thus the recent death of Brittany Maynard spurred a flurry of news articles and posts on the Death with Dignity movement. There will be a lot more to come on this topic, and the movement will gather steam because whatever is in the crosshairs of the baby boomers weighs down on society as a whole. Soon the baby boomers will come to the...more

    Link ›

  • Rick Bookstaber

    Uber: What could possibly go wrong

    Uber at the core is nothing more than a bunch of guys who came up with a clever app for streamlining the way you call for a car.  Rather than phoning or texting, you tap on the app.  Rather than paying with cash or credit cards, you have an account.  And rather than depending on the reputation of the car company, you depend on the ratings-based reputation of the specific driver. (Another feature, the pre-determined fare, with that fare essentially including all fees including tip, is nothing new for car services). And, by the way, it is readily replicable by any other car services, including those that already have a reputation and experienced drivers.  So it seems to me that it is only mildly innovative.  How do you build a successful world-wid...more

    Link ›

  • Piggington's Econo-Almanac

    October 2014 Housing Data Rodeo

    Link ›

  • The Street Light

    Transfer Pricing Economics

    I'd like to announce that after a long hiatus from blogging, I'm taking it up again in a new forum.  The new blog, Transfer Pricing Economics, is primarily devoted to exploring my particular area of professional specialty, namely "transfer pricing".  If that term doesn't mean anything to you, then feel free to check out my brief explanation of transfer pricing. My aim is to expose and analyze the connections between the arcane world of transfer pricing and broader developments in the economic and financial world. And the connections are significant: the rules and economic logic of transfer pricing have a direct impact on trillions of dollars of international trade every year. So please feel free to check in on and contribute to the discussions about these...more

    Link ›

  • Dani Rodrik's weblog

    Services, manufacturing, and new growth strategies

    I gave a talk yesterday on New Growth Strategies at the World Bank, which was more or less an elaboration of this short piece. I argued that industrialization had pretty much run out of steam as a growth strategy, that services would need to be the focus going forward, and that this required in turn a different policy mindset about how to increase productivity. In particular, I argued that policies focusing on generating a sequence of sectoral “winners,” which worked so  well in manufacturing (garments to car seats to cars to electronics), would have much smaller payoff in services, in view of the non-tradability of most service segments. I suggested further that, even under the best of circumstances, a services-oriented strategy would yield lower growth than ...more

    Link ›

  • Piggington's Econo-Almanac

    September 2014 Housing Data Rodeo

    Link ›

  • Jeffrey Frankel's Blog

    The Return of Voodoo Economics

    Paul Krugman’s column in the New York Times today talked of the revival of “Voodoo economics” by some Republican politicians.  This refers to the Laffer Proposition that a cut in income tax rates stimulates economic activity so much that tax revenue goes up rather than down.   Gov. Sam Brownback, who is running for re-election in Kansas, has had to confront the reality that tax revenues went down, not up as he argued they would, when he cut state tax rates. I disagree with one thing that Krugman wrote in his column: the idea that there was a long break,  particularly after George W. Bush took office, during which Republican politicians did not push this line.  To the contrary, I have collected many quotes from George W. Bush and his top officials claiming the...more

    Link ›

  • Jeffrey Frankel's Blog

    Piketty’s Fence

    Most of the reviews of Thomas Piketty’s book Capital in the Twenty-First Century have already been written.  But I thought it might be best to read it all the way through before offering my own thoughts on this book, which startlingly rose to the top of the best seller lists last April.  It has taken me five months, but I finished it. One of the things the book has in common with the Karl Marx’s Das Capital (1867) is that it serves as a rallying point for the many people who are passionately concerned about inequality, regardless whether they understand or agree with the specific arguments contained in the book in question.  To be fair, much of what Marx wrote was bizarre and very little was based on careful economic statistics.  Much of what Piketty says is ba...more

    Link ›

  • Jeffrey Frankel's Blog

    Modi, Sisi & Jokowi: Three New Leaders Face the Challenge of Food & Fuel Subsidies

    In few policy areas does good economics seem to conflict so dramatically with good politics as in the practice of subsidies to food and energy.  Economics textbooks explain that these subsidies are lose-lose policies. In the political world that can sound like an ivory tower abstraction.   But the issue of unaffordable subsidies happens to be front and center politically now, in a number of places around the world.   Three major new leaders in particular are facing this challenge:  Sisi in Egypt, Jokowi in Indonesia, and Modi in India. The Egyptian leader is doing a much better job of facing up to the need to cut subsidies than one might have expected.  India’s new prime minister, by contrast, is doing worse than expected – even torpedoing a long-anticipated ...more

    Link ›

  • The Becker-Posner Blog

    Farewell

    In memoriam: Gary S. Becker, 1930-2014. The Becker-Posner blog is terminated. Richard A. Posner

    Link ›

  • The Becker-Posner Blog

    Sabbatical Notice

    Starting this weekend, we will be taking a one-month sabbatical from blogging. We will resume at the end of that period.

    Link ›

  • The Becker-Posner Blog

    The Embargo of Cuba: Time to Go- Becker

    The US embargo of Cuba began in 1960, a year after Fidel Castro turned this island toward communism. It was extended to food and medicines in 1962, the same year as the showdown with Russia over the installation of missiles there. The embargo has prevented American companies from doing business with Cuba, and discouraged tourism to Cuba. The American government also tried with quite limited success to prevent other countries from trading with Cuba. In general economic embargoes are undesirable because they interfere with free trade among countries. Yet a case could be made for an embargo against Cuba. Castro not only allowed Russian missiles to be installed in Cuba, just 90 miles from Florida, but was also actively trying to interfere in other countries by sending troop...more

    Link ›

  • Stan Collender's Capital Gains and Games

    Capital Gains And Games Now Being Published By Forbes

    Link ›

  • Stan Collender's Capital Gains and Games

    Big Changes Are Coming To Capital Gains And Games

    Link ›

  • Stan Collender's Capital Gains and Games

    Camp Plan Puts Nail In Tax Reform Coffin For This Year, And Next, And...

    Link ›

  • democracyarsenal.org

    Can the F-35 Replace the A-10?

    by Nickolai Sukharev  One of the big decisions the United States Air Force has considered over the last few months is whether to retire the A-10 Thunderbolt II fleet as a cost saving measure while developing and procuring the F-35A Lightening II. Given the Budget Control Act caps on Pentagon spending and the need to better allocate funds, officials have expressed their preference to prioritize multi-mission platforms in the inventory. But the problem is that the F-35A is not a replacement for the A-10’s close air support. The reason is simple: it lacks comparable capabilities despite a higher operating cost. Given the constrained budgetary environment, the comparative cost to maintain and operate the two aircraft should be a decisive consideration. The A-10 is a...more

    Link ›

  • democracyarsenal.org

    After Geneva Talks A Consensus on Moving Forward

    By Homa Hassan The two-day round of P5+1 negotiations with Iran just concluded in Geneva and Western diplomats are carefully reviewing a detailed proposal presented by Iran. As this proposal is being reviewed ahead of the follow-on meetings in November it is important to look at what the realistic prospects of a deal will look like. Going into this week’s talks, a number of commentaries came out attempting to set negotiations up for failure. However, it is widely agreed that a negotiated solution to Iran’s controversial nuclear program is the best way to achieve a sustainable solution and a recent survey of reports and recommendations from bipartisan think tanks and high-level experts demonstrates a broad consensus on how to approach negotiations a...more

    Link ›

  • democracyarsenal.org

    TPP, TTIP and Getting America's Competitiveness Back on Track

    By Marcela Heywood Last week’s Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit in Bali, Indonesia marked further progress for the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and set an ambitious goal to finish negotiations by the end of the year. Although the U.S. government shutdown – and President Obama’s absence in Bali – did not hinder the trade talks, it did call America’s credibility into question. Government shutdown could threaten both TPP and Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) negotiations by displaying uncertainty in U.S. economic and foreign policy priorities. Congress needs to reach an agreement and prioritize TPP and TTIP, as they are necessary policy initiatives to boost American competitiveness, stimulate the economy, and exert soft power to cr...more

    Link ›

  • Paul Kedrosky's Infectious Greed

    Twitter Digest: 2013-06-09

    Given that I block NSA & PRISM tweets, was entertaining tuning into twitter & trying to figure why everyone was on about Lord Snowdon -> Turned on GoT tonight just in time to catch Daenerys reenacting her Level 2 YMCA gymnastics pageant. -> How Not to Be Alone | Jonathan Safran Foer – http://t.co/HMFxg75lfh http://t.co/DzAtvWBQJr -> Excellent, but fellow sports-med geeks only: Sports and exercise-related tendinopathies: a review – http://t.co/WGkhRlO6Uz -> ...more

    Link ›

  • Paul Kedrosky's Infectious Greed

    Twitter Digest: 2013-06-07

    Photo-set: Flooding Across Central Europe – http://t.co/8G6j8teCbd -> CDC Update: Severe Respiratory Illness Associated with Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus – http://t.co/hWqN1338VN -> Col Flagg: Have you ever heard of Malaysian Chest Implosion Torture? Radar: No. Coll Flagg: Good. It hasn’t been invented… yet. -> tl;dr: There are Manchurian Candidate engineers at large tech cos that have stolen SSL root cert and NSA is using it for cattle mutilation. -> Brian: …Will you please listen? I'm not the Messiah! Do you understand? Honestly Woman: Only the true Messiah denies his divinity! -> ...more

    Link ›

  • Paul Kedrosky's Infectious Greed

    Twitter Digest: 2013-06-05

    FRED: Free Energy Data – http://t.co/90H7GVDazO -> Solipsisms ‘r’ us, courtesy of my friends at @thinkup: I apparently mention me a lot – http://t.co/9rTRXvBM9D -> Almost 10,000 words on soccer/Italy/economics/racism by @wrightthompson? Yes, & it’s super. Go. http://t.co/g4sgEFLkIC -> When The Beautiful Game Turns Ugly: A journey into the world of Italy's racist soccer thugs http://t.co/nckrbeLPfs -> Can’t remember last time I read an OpEd or column. Do those still exist? -> ...more

    Link ›

  • The Street Light

    Cyprus and Eurozone Bank Deposits

    To me, the central issue raised by this week's Cyprus debacle is how it has affected confidence across the eurozone.  To what degree has the possibility of insured depositors at a eurozone bank losing a portion of their deposits affected the mindset of depositors?  To what degree has ECB acquiescence to this possibility undermined the notion that deposit insurance in the eurozone means the same thing in all countries?  And to what degree has the ECB's direct threat to end support for Cyprus's banking system in the event that the government of Cyprus can not arrange sufficient funds to meet its conditions made a farce of its earlier promise to "do whatever it takes to preserve the euro"?These, to me, are the interesting questions prompted by this week's ev...more

    Link ›

  • The Street Light

    When the Fed Chair is an Academic

    The big economic news of the week was, in fact, big economic news: the Fed's announcement of significant changes from past practice in the the quantity of its next round of large scale asset purchases ("unlimited"), and in the timing of any future reversal of this expansionary policy ("a considerable time after the economic recovery strengthens").I view this as a pretty fundamental shift in how the Fed hopes to affect the economy.  Rather than trying to push economic activity one way or the other through its management of interest rates (which can alter economic activity through its portfolio-rebalancing and wealth effects, for example), the Fed is now quite explicitly trying to affect economic activity by altering interest rate and inflation expectations.  As...more

    Link ›

  • TPMCafe

    Message to world government: Don't govern the Internet

    You could think of the Aspen IDEA report published today as a letter to the head of the International Telecommunications Union, Hamadoun Touré, suggesting that he should reconsider his intent to put the "light touch" of government on the Internet's operations. M. Touré will be running a major meeting of world governments in Dubai at the end of this year. The Dubai meeting, known as WCIT 12, may have an agenda that is a light touch only if that's what you can call a grab for the jugular vein of the Internet. The issues may include a "per click" tax on international Internet traffic, individual nation state regulation identities to online activity, national encryption standards to allow government surveillance, and multinational governance of the Internet. Russia, Chi...more

    Link ›

  • TPMCafe

    Obama and Romney on Foreign Policy - Drawing the Contrasts

    The political battle lines are being drawn for the general election debate over foreign policy and national security, and you can't do much better than my fellow Democracy Arsenal blogger Michael Cohen for a guide. One key theme of Michael's latest column for ForeignPolicy.com is what a difference it makes for a candidate to bear the responsibility of governing, or on the other hand, campaign to be commander in chief on the basis of self-serving pot shots. My only quibble regards how Romney's reed-thin foreign policy argument will fare with voters. Take Michael's analysis of Romney's potential advantage in the debate on Iran: He can simply lob rhetorical haymakers that hype up the threat of an Iranian bomb or offer Churchillian declarations about his intention to stop...more

    Link ›

  • TPMCafe

    Will Yale's Alumni Save Liberal Education?

    Hoping to head off alumni resistance to the brand-new "Yale-National University of Singapore" college that the Yale Corporation has created somewhat stealthily in collaboration with the government of that authoritarian city-state, Association of Yale Alumni chairman Michael Madison has inadvertently demonstrated one of the ways Yale College is being transformed from a crucible of civic-republican leadership, grounded in liberal education, into a global career-networking center and cultural galleria for a new elite that answers to no polity or moral code: STATEMENT OF THE OFFICERS OF THE AYA BOARD OF GOVERNORS, Michael Madison, Chair of the Board "All Yale-NUS College graduates will be warmly welcomed as a part of the Yale alumni community. They will also be invited...more

    Link ›


Most Read | Featured | Popular

Blogger Spotlight

Håvard Halland Håvard Halland

PHåvard Halland is a natural resource economist at the World Bank, where he leads research and policy agendas in the fields of resource-backed infrastructure finance, sovereign wealth fund policy, extractive industries revenue management, and public financial management for the extractive industries sector. Prior to joining the World Bank, he was a delegate and program manager for the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Colombia. He earned a PhD in economics from the University of Cambridge.