EconoMonitor

Economics Blog Aggregator

    United States

  • Brad DeLong's Grasping Reality...

    Links and Tweets...

    Lunchtime Must-Read: David Dayen: Barney Frank Explains the Financial Crisis http://equitablegrowth.org/?p=10182 Christina Romer: Spurious Volatility in Historical Unemployment Data http://eml.berkeley.edu/~cromer/Spurious%20Volatility.pdf Today's Must-Must-Read: Paul Krugman: The Missing Deflation and the Argument for a Higher Inflation Target http://equitablegrowth.org/?p=10170 Laurence Ball: Monetary Policy for a High-Pressure Economy http://www.pathtofullemployment.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/03/3_30_15fe_ball.pdf Robert Moses: Response to Robert Caro's The Power Broker http://www.bridgeandtunnelclub.com/detritus/moses/response.htm David G. Blanchflower and Andrew T. Levin: Labor Market Slack and Monetary Policy http://www.pathtofullemployment.org/wp-content/...more

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  • Marginal REVOLUTION

    *Genealogy of American Finance*

    By Robert E. Wright and Richard Sylla, Columbia Business School Publishing, this is both a beautiful picture book, coffee table style, and also a history of America’s “Big 50″ financial institutions.  It appears to be a very impressive creation, full of useful information. File under “Arrived in my Pile”!  You can order it on Amazon here. ...more

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  • Brad DeLong's Grasping Reality...

    http://www.bradford-delong.com/2015/03/live-from-california-pizza-kitchen-with-the-battery-on-my-macbook-air-now-down-to-two-hours-i-am-going-to-have-to-learn.html

    Live from California Pizza Kitchen: With the battery on my Macbook Air now down to two hours, I am going to have to learn to practice much better electron hygiene...

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  • Brad DeLong's Grasping Reality...

    http://www.bradford-delong.com/2015/03/lunchtime-must-read-david-dayen-barney-frank-explains-the-financial-crisishttpequitablegrowthorgp10182-the.html

    Lunchtime Must-Read: David Dayen: Barney Frank Explains the Financial Crisis: "The TARP legislation included specific instructions to use a section of the funds to prevent foreclosures... ...Without that language, TARP would not have passed.... The Bush administration... used none of the first tranche on mortgage relief, nor did Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson use any leverage over firms receiving the money to persuade them to lower mortgage balances and prevent foreclosures. Frank made his anger clear over this ignoring of Congress’ intentions at a hearing with Paulson that November.... Frank writes, ‘Paulson agreed to include homeowner relief in his upcoming request for a second tranche of TARP funding. But there was one condition: He would only do it if the P...more

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  • Marginal REVOLUTION

    Tuesday assorted links

    1. A good review of Ishiguro. 2. Against a 100% value land tax. 3. Top ten largest cruise ships in the world.  And why India’s Flipkart abandoned its mobile website. 4. Faster peer review markets in everything? 5. Median salaries in higher education. 6. Sadly, John Makin has passed away.  And the comments on Bernanke’s blog post. ...more

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  • All HW content

    HUD returns control of Detroit Housing Commission

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  • All HW content

    Long foreclosure processes give borrowers free home

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  • Dr. Housing Bubble Blog

    Pasadena and the art of marketing old homes: Los Angeles has many areas with very old homes and unsuspecting buyers purchasing into future cash outflows.

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  • All HW content

    Costs up, profits down: Closing a mortgage gets more expensive

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  • Calculated Risk

    A Comment on House Prices: Real Prices and Price-to-Rent Ratio in January

    The expected slowdown in year-over-year price increases has occurred. In October 2013, the National index was up 10.9% year-over-year (YoY). In January 2015, the index was up 4.5% YoY.  However the YoY change has only declined slightly over the last five months.Looking forward, I expect the YoY increases for the indexes to move more sideways (as opposed to down).   Two points: 1) I don't expect (as some) for the indexes to turn negative YoY (in 2015) , and 2) I think most of the slowdown on a YoY basis is now behind us. This slowdown in price increases was expected by several key analysts, and I think it was good news for housing and the economy.In the earlier post, I graphed nominal house prices, but it is also important to look at prices in real terms (in...more

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  • The Big Picture

    Gay Discrimination Is A Billion Dollar Self-Indulgence

    By now, you have surely heard about Indiana’s so-called Religious Freedom Restoration Act and its potential for giving cover to those who discriminate against gay people. A backlash that had already been gathering momentum burst open this weekend, driven by an op-ed by Apple Chief Executive Officer Tim Cook in the Washington Post. As Cook wrote: America’s business community recognized a long time ago that discrimination, in all its forms, is bad for business. The law’s passage has led to a torrent of business responses. I want to discuss the potential economic aspects of these, and what it might mean to the state of Indiana. At stake are losses for manufacturing ($95.4 billion in annual state output), finance ($44 billion) and tourism ($10.3 billion) R...more

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  • naked capitalism

    Bill Black: The Homophobic Law and the Indiana Governor Who Dares Not Speak Its Purpose

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  • Greg Mankiw's Blog

    Where I am today

    Here, in New York City, helping promote economics education.

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  • Calculated Risk

    Case-Shiller: National House Price Index increased 4.5% year-over-year in January

    S&P/Case-Shiller released the monthly Home Price Indices for January ("January" is a 3 month average of November, December and January prices).This release includes prices for 20 individual cities, two composite indices (for 10 cities and 20 cities) and the monthly National index.Note: Case-Shiller reports Not Seasonally Adjusted (NSA), I use the SA data for the graphs. From S&P: Rise in Home Prices Paced by Denver, Miami, and Dallas According to the S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price IndicesData released today for January 2015 show that home prices continued their rise across the country over the last 12 months. However, monthly data reveal slowing increases and seasonal weakness. ... Both the 10-City and 20-City Composites saw year-over-year increases in January...more

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  • The Capital Spectator

    ADP Employment Report: March 2015 Preview

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  • Economist's View

    'Illegal Discrimination Still Significant and Persistent'

    From the RES Conference at the University of Manchester: Illegal Discrimination Still Significant and Persistent: If you are black, foreign, female, elderly, disabled, gay, obese or not a member of the dominant caste or religion in your community, you may face ‘significant and persistent discrimination’ when you go to apply for a job, rent a house or buy a product. That is the overall conclusion of a new survey by Judith Rich of 70 field studies of discrimination conducted during the last 15 years. Her report will be presented at the Royal Economic Society’s 2015 annual conference. Field studies of discrimination in markets ensure that group identity is the only difference observed by the decision-maker about an individual. Carefully matched testers, one from the...more

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  • Cafe Hayek - Article Feed

    Profits Are Not Prejudiced

    (Don Boudreaux) In today’s Wall Street Journal, Heather Mac Donald explains why it’s absurd to conclude that gender discrimination is genuinely practiced in competitive industries.  (Gated) For the record, I believe that every private employer has the moral right, and should have the legal right, to hire and fire whomever it wants for whatever reasons might strike its fancy, as long as doing so does not violate a contractual agreement between the employer and employee.  But as an economic matter, any employer in a competitive industry who acts on prejudices that have no economic merit is an employer who effectively not only rids its own wallet of $20 bills but does so in a way that leaves these valuable assets available to be picked up and used productive...more

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  • Paul Krugman

    Missing Deflation and the Argument for Inflation

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  • Paul Krugman

    The Road to Five Forks

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  • The Big Picture

    10 Tuesday AM Reads

    Heckuva of a way to start the week, with a giant rally — let’s see if  it sticks. Meanwhile, our morning train reads: • Want to avoid a bear market? (Irrelevant Investor) see also You won’t know the bull market is over until the bear is here (MarketWatch) • China’s stock market sure looks like a bubble (Wonkblog) • A Shrewd Oil Call Reverses Fortunes for Lucky Few (WSJ) • Small investors blame losses on brokers they once trusted (Yahoo Finance) • Now That Ben Bernanke Is Blogging, Here’s What He Should Write About (Upshot) Continues here     ...more

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  • The Capital Spectator

    Will Janet Yellen’s Outlook Prevail?

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  • Cafe Hayek - Article Feed

    Quotation of the Day…

    (Don Boudreaux) … is from pages 39-40 of the 1985 (3rd) edition of the Ralph Raico translation of Ludwig von Mises‘s superb 1927 book, Liberalism: Many people are still haunted by the idea, which dates back to the preliberal era, that a certain nobility and dignity attaches to the exercise of governmental functions.  Up to very recently public officials in Germany enjoyed, and indeed still enjoy even today, a prestige that has made the most highly respected career that of a civil servant.  The social esteem in which a young “assessor” or lieutenant is held far exceeds that of a businessman or an attorney grown old in honest labor.  Writers, scholars, and artists whose fame and glory have spread far beyond Germany enjoy in their own homeland only th...more

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  • Economist's View

    'Generous Welfare Benefits Make People More Likely To Want to Work, Not Less'

    Not so sure this is conclusive -- it seems like the survey question could have been sharpened: Generous welfare benefits make people more likely to want to work, not less: Survey responses from 19,000 people in 18 European countries, including the UK, showed that "the notion that big welfare states are associated with widespread cultures of dependency, or other adverse consequences of poor short term incentives to work, receives little support." Sociologists Dr Kjetil van der Wel and Dr Knut Halvorsen examined responses to the statement 'I would enjoy having a paid job even if I did not need the money' put to the interviewees for the European Social Survey in 2010. In a paper published in the journal Work, employment and society they compare this resp...more

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  • naked capitalism

    Links 3/31/15

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  • naked capitalism

    Greece Submits Insufficiently Detailed Reform List; Tsipras Tells Parliament of “Peace with Honor,” Um, “Honorable Compromise”

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  • Economist's View

    Thoughts on Yellen's Speech

    Tim Duy: Thoughts on Yellen's Speech, by Tim Duy: I came back from Spring Break vacation to find a detailed speech by Fed Chair Janet Yellen that further lays the groundwork for rate hikes to begin later this year. The speech is a remarkably clear elucidation of her views and provides plenty of insight into what we should be looking for as the Fed edges toward policy normalization. A speech like this once a month from a Federal Reserve Governor would, I think, go a long way toward enhancing the the Fed's communication strategy. One of the most important takeaways from this speech is the importance of labor market data in the Fed's assessment of the appropriate level of accommodation: Although the recovery of the labor market from the deep recession followi...more

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  • The Big Picture

    Trends Around 1st Fed Rate Hikes

    Lessons For Lift Off – Recent sensitivities to interest rates, and trends around the 1st Fed rate hikes of 1994, 1999, and 2004 Your browser does not support this video. Source: Credit Suisse ...more

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  • Beat the Press

    Unemployed Older Workers Have More Difficulty Getting New Jobs

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  • The Capital Spectator

    Initial Guidance | 31 March 2015

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  • The Fabius Maximus website

    Threats come & go, leaving us in perpetual fear & forgetful of the past

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  • The Housing Bubble Blog

    Bits Bucket for March 31, 2015

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

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  • Marginal REVOLUTION

    Are more egalitarian societies more likely to adopt school vouchers?

    Timothy Hicks has a new and recently published paper: It is argued in this article that the marketisation of schools policy has a tendency to produce twin effects: an increase in educational inequality, and an increase in general satisfaction with the schooling system. However, the effect on educational inequality is very much stronger where prevailing societal inequality is higher. The result is that cross-party political agreement on the desirability of such reforms is much more likely where societal inequality is lower (as the inequality effects are also lower). Counterintuitively, then, countries that are more egalitarian – and so typically thought of as being more left-wing – will have a higher likelihood of adopting marketisation than more unequal countries. E...more

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  • Cafe Hayek - Article Feed

    Milton Friedman on the Real World Effects of Labor Unions

    (Don Boudreaux)

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  • Macro and Other Market Musings

    Ben Bernanke and the Secular Stagnation Debate

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  • Calculated Risk

    Tuesday: Case-Shiller House Prices, Chicago PMI

    From the WSJ: Fed’s Fischer Floats Ideas for Regulating Shadow Banks The Federal Reserve’s No. 2 official floated a series of ideas for regulating nonbank financial companies, the latest indication that top U.S. policy makers are focusing on risks in the so-called shadow banking sector.“While there has been progress on the financial reform front, we should not be complacent about the stability of the financial system,” said Fed Vice Chairman Stanley Fischer in remarks prepared for a conference here hosted by the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta. He noted existing rules create an incentive for risky activities to move into less-regulated financial firms and said “we should expect that further reforms will certainly be needed down the road.”Tuesday:• 9:00 AM ...more

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  • Robert Reich

    The Rise of the Working Poor and the Non-Working Rich

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  • The Fabius Maximus website

    Review of “Kill Chain: Rise of the High-tech Assassins”

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  • Paper Economy - A US Real Estate Bubble Blog

    Pending Home Sales: February 2015

    Today, the National Association of Realtors (NAR) released their Pending Home Sales Report for February showing that pending home sales increased notably with the seasonally adjusted national index increasing 3.1% from January to stand 12.0% above the level seen in February 2014. The following chart shows the seasonally adjusted national pending home sales index along with the percent change on a year-over-year basis as well as the percent change from the peak set in 2005 (click for larger version). ...more

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  • ProfessorBainbridge.com

    Omnicare through a civil procedure lens

    Ann Lipton offers an interesting analysis of the pleading implications of the Supreme Court's recent Omnicare decision, which dealt with whether and when opinions can give rise to 1933 Act Section 11... [[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website for full links, other content, and more! ]] ...more

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  • ProfessorBainbridge.com

    What Josh Fershee Believes About Corporate Governance: Annotated

    I'm Catholic. I take creeds seriously. So I was amused and interested by Josh Fershee's statement of belief, which I offer with my annotations: I believe in the theory of Director Primacy.[1] I... [[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website for full links, other content, and more! ]] ...more

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  • Tim Duy's Fed Watch

    Thoughts on Yellen's Speech

    I came back from Spring Break vacation to find a detailed speech by Fed Chair Janet Yellen that further lays the groundwork for rate hikes to begin later this year. The speech is a remarkably clear elucidation of her views and provides plenty of insight into what we should be looking for as the Fed edges toward policy normalization. A speech like this once a month from a Federal Reserve Governor would, I think, go a long way toward enhancing the the Fed's communication strategy. One of the most important takeaways from this speech is the importance of labor market data in the Fed's assessment of the appropriate level of accommodation: Although the recovery of the labor market from the deep recession following the financial crisis was frustratingly slow for quite a lon...more

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  • ProfessorBainbridge.com

    Tweeting about over-criminalization

    Reynolds: You are probably breaking the law right now http://t.co/sMORmEm3CM over criminalization is a growing problem — Stephen Bainbridge (@ProfBainbridge) March 30, 2015 Three Felonies A Day: How... [[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website for full links, other content, and more! ]] ...more

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  • Greg Mankiw's Blog

    More Competition

    Ben Bernanke has started a blog. Where did he ever come up with that title?

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  • Paul Krugman

    Ben Bernanke Blog Blogging

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  • Beat the Press

    Generic Sovaldi Costs Less than $1,000 in India

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  • The Housing Bubble Blog

    An Incorrect Assumption

    Bloomberg reports on Texas. “Welcome to Dallas in 2015, a city whose bustling economy is attracting new residents at a rapid pace—and making it increasingly difficult to buy a house. New listings get multiple offers in mere days, said Steve Habgood, president of the MetroTex Association of Realtors. ‘People are saying, ‘Great, I can get a premium on the price I paid, but where am I going to live once I sell?’ said Habgood. ‘The options are pretty limited.’” “Last year, Rick Smith put his family’s house in suburban Dallas on the market, hoping to find a new home close to better schools and the city’s downtown. Selling the old house was a snap; buying a new one wasn’t. In January the family moved to a tow...more

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  • The Fabius Maximus website

    Can Constitutional amendments save the Republic?

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  • The Housing Bubble Blog

    Bits Bucket for March 30, 2015

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

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  • Beat the Press

    It's Monday and Robert Samuelson Wants to Cut Social Security and Medicare

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  • Econbrowser

    Oil sands outlook

    On Friday I visited the University of Alberta in Edmonton, where falling oil prices have brought a record provincial budget deficit despite aggressive tax increases and spending cuts. Here I pass along some of what I learned about how the plunge in oil prices is affecting Alberta’s oil sands operations. A couple of factors have cushioned Canadian oil producers slightly from the collapse in oil prices in the U.S. First, while the dollar price of West Texas Intermediate has fallen 45% since June, the Canadian dollar depreciated against the U.S. dollar by 18% over the same period, and now stands at CAD $1.26 per U.S. dollar. Since the costs of the oil sands producers are denominated in Canadian dollars, the currency depreciation is an important offset. There has...more

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  • Greg Mankiw's Blog

    The Economics of Skyscrapers

    A friend points me to this article in The Economist about the economics of skyscrapers.  Lots of good food for thought for micro and macro classes.

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  • Macro and Other Market Musings

    Do Air Conditioners Explain the Rise of the South?

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  • Econbrowser

    Estimates of the Elasticity of Employment with Respect to the Minimum Wage

    Some people would have you believe the impact of a minimum wage hike on employment is known to be large and negative. A cursory acquaintance with the literature helps in immunizing one (if one believes in vaccines and the like) against falling for such assertions. The meta-analysis of Doucouliagos, Hristos, and Tom D. Stanley. “Publication Selection Bias in Minimum-Wage Research? A Meta-Regression Analysis.” British Journal of Industrial Relations 47.2 (2009): 406-428. [ungated working paper version] is useful in this regard. Figure 2 from Doucouliagos, Hristos, and Tom D. Stanley. “Publication Selection Bias in Minimum-Wage Research? A Meta-Regression Analysis.” British Journal of Industrial Relations 47.2 (2009): 406-428. [ungated working pap...more

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  • Macro and Other Market Musings

    Are Wages Primed for Take Off?

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  • Dr. Housing Bubble Blog

    The Los Angeles and Orange County area becomes even more unaffordable when it comes to housing: In last two years home prices up 28 percent while wages are up 2 percent.

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  • Econbrowser

    Pompeii on SF Bay?

    Will a minimum wage increase induce an apocalyptic conflagration of small businesses and low wage employment? Here’s one prediction: This is not the time to force businesses to raise prices by laying-off employees in order to stay in business. What good is raising the minimum wage if prices go up? What good is raising the minimum wage if there are no jobs available? Businesses will be forced to raise prices in order to absorb a 26% pay increase. Restaurants will be especially hard hit. That is not a quote addressing the impending increase in the SF minimum wage. Rather, it’s the statement by the SF Restaurant Association regarding San Francisco’s Proposition L, in 2003 (ballot instructions here). For a current incarnation of this apocalyptic vision, one has ...more

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  • Dr. Housing Bubble Blog

    California rental rates based on counties and a trip into Huntington Park for real estate deals: When will the renting trend reverse?

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  • Piggington's Econo-Almanac

    February 2015 Housing Data Rodeo

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  • Robert Reich

    Why College Isn’t (and Shouldn’t Have to be) for Everyone

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  • Tim Duy's Fed Watch

    Yellen Strikes a Dovish Tone

    The FOMC concluded its two-day meeting today, and the results were largely as I had anticipated. The Fed took note of the recent data, downgrading the pace of activity from "solid" to "moderated." They continue to expect inflation weakness to be transitory. The risks to the outlook are balanced.  And "patient" was dropped; April is still off the table for a rate hike, but data dependence rules from that point on. Growth, inflation and unemployment forecasts all came down. Especially important was the decrease in longer-run unemployment projections. The Fed's estimates of NAIRU are falling, something almost impossible to avoid given the stickiness of wage growth in the face of falling unemployment. The forecast changes yielded a downward revision to the Fed's interest ...more

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  • Paper Economy - A US Real Estate Bubble Blog

    New Residential Construction Report: February 2015

    Today’s New Residential Construction Report showed mixed results with total permit activity increasing 3% since January while total starts dropped a whopping 17.0% over the same period.Single family housing permits, the most leading of indicators, declined 6.2% from January to 620K single family units (SAAR), and rose 2.8% above the level seen a year earlier but still remained well below levels seen at the peak in September 2005. ...more

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  • Robert Reich

    The “iEverything” and the Redistributional Imperative

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  • Paper Economy - A US Real Estate Bubble Blog

    NAHB/Wells Fargo Home Builder Sentiment: March 2015

    Today, the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) released their latest Housing Market Index (HMI) showing that overall assessments of housing activity declined in March with the composite HMI index falling to 53 while the "buyer traffic" index declined to a level of 37 from 39 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

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  • Tim Duy's Fed Watch

    The End of "Patient" and Questions for Yellen

    FOMC meeting with week, with a subsequent press conference with Fed Chair Janet Yellen.  Remember to clear your calendar for this Wednesday. It is widely expected that the Fed will drop the word “patient” from its statement. Too many FOMC participants want the opportunity to debate a rate hike in June, and thus “patient” needs to go. The Fed will not want this to imply that a rate hike is guaranteed at the June meeting, so look for language emphasizing the data-dependent nature of future policy. This will also be stressed in the press conference.   Of interest too will be the Fed’s assessment of economic conditions since the last FOMC meeting. On net, the data has been lackluster – expect for the employment data, of course. The latter, however, is of the ...more

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  • Richard's Real Estate and Urban Economics Blog

    LA has zoned itself out of the ability to house its residents (h/t Matthew Glesne)

    Once upon a time, the zoning in Los Angeles would have allowed for 10 million residents to live within its municipal boundaries.  Greg Morrow, in his UCLA dissertation, "Homeowner Revolution: Democracy, Land Use and the Los Angeles Slow Growth Movement 1965-1992," documents how this was eroded over time:So LA really did create a moat around itself and pulled up the drawbridge.  For those of us who think the blessings of cities should be shared widely, this is a shame....more

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  • macroblog

    Signs of Improvement in Prime-Age Labor Force Participation

    table { font: inherit; font-size: 90%; } .citation, .byline { font-style: italic; } .centeredImage { display: block !important; margin-left: auto !important; margin-right: auto !important; } This morning's job report provided further evidence of a stabilizing labor force participation (LFP) rate. After falling over 3 percentage points since 2008, LFP has been close to 62.9 percent of the population for the past seven months. Although demographics and behavioral trends explain much of the overall decline (our web page on LFP dynamics gives a full account), there is a cyclical component at work as well. In particular, the labor force attachment of "prime-age" (25 to 54 year olds) individuals to the labor force is something we're watching closely. Federal Reserve Ba...more

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  • macroblog

    Could Reduced Drilling Also Reduce GDP Growth?

    Five or six times each month, the Atlanta Fed posts a "nowcast" of real gross domestic product (GDP) growth from the Atlanta Fed's GDPNow model. The most recent model nowcast for first-quarter real GDP growth is provided in table 1 below alongside alternative forecasts from the Philadelphia Fed's quarterly Survey of Professional Forecasters (SPF) and the CNBC/Moody's Analytics Rapid Update survey. The Atlanta Fed's nowcast of 1.2 percent growth is considerably lower than both the SPF forecast (2.7 percent) and the Rapid Update forecast (2.6 percent). (enlarge) Why the discrepancy? The less frequently updated SPF forecast (now nearly a month old) has the advantage of including forecasts of major subcomponents of GDP. Comparing the subcomponent forecasts from the SPF wit...more

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  • The Baseline Scenario

    “Middle-Class Economics”

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  • Richard's Real Estate and Urban Economics Blog

    It is hard to feel urban form sometimes.

    I have spent a fair amount of time in Sao Paulo over the past 3-4 years, and always thought it sprawled more than LA, because it takes forever to get from one side of the place to the other.  So was I surprised when I went to Google Earth and looked at both of them from the same elevation. Here is LA:Now here is SP:It is far more compact.  Metro LA has about 18 million people; SP has about 20 million. But it takes about 2 hours to get from Santa Clarita in the west to San Bernardino in the east--the distance between the two is 85 miles; it can take four hours to go just 30 kilometers in SP.  Sao Paulo feels much larger to me....more

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  • macroblog

    Are Shifts in Industry Composition Holding Back Wage Growth?

    table { font: inherit; font-size: 90%; } .citation, .byline { font-style: italic; } .centeredImage { display: block !important; margin-left: auto !important; margin-right: auto !important; } The last payroll employment report from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) included some relatively good news on wages. Private average hourly earnings rose an estimated 12 cents in January, the largest increase since June 2007. Even so, earnings were up only 2.2 percent over the last year versus average growth of 3.4 percent in 2007. What accounts for the sluggish growth in average earnings? The average hourly earnings data for all workers is essentially the sum of the average earnings per hour within an industry weighted by that industry's share of employment. In this...more

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  • Richard's Real Estate and Urban Economics Blog

    Should Finance Departments Pay Pigou Taxes?

    The Economist leads me to an article by Stephen G Cecchetti and Enisse Kharroubi: The purpose of this paper is to examine why financial sector growth harms real growth. We begin by constructing a model in which financial and real growth interact, and then turn to empirical evidence. In our model, we first show how an exogenous increase in financial sector growth can reduce total factor productivity growth.2 This is a consequence of the fact that financial sector growth benefits disproportionately high collateral/low productivity projects. This mechanism reflects the fact that periods of high financial sector growth often coincide with the strong development in sectors like construction, where returns on projects are relatively easy to pledge as collateral but prod...more

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  • Dani Rodrik's weblog

    Premature deindustrialization in the developing world

    Mention “deindustrialization,” and the image that comes to mind is that of advanced economies making their way into the post-industrial phase of development. In a new paper,[1] I show that the more dramatic trend is one of deindustrialization in the developing countries. This is a trend that is appropriately called premature deindustrialization, since it means that many (if not most) developing nations are becoming service economies without having had a proper experience of industrialization. Latin America appears to be the worst hit region. But worryingly similar trends are very much in evidence in Sub-Saharan Africa too, where few countries had much industrialization to begin with. The only countries that seem to have escaped the curse of premature industrializati...more

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  • The Baseline Scenario

    What Is Citigroup Hiding From Its Shareholders Now?

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  • Piggington's Econo-Almanac

    January 2015 Housing Data Rodeo

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  • The Baseline Scenario

    Tax Breaks (for the Rich) Are Forever

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  • 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

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  • 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

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  • Piggington's Econo-Almanac

    November 2014 Housing Data Rodeo

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  • 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

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  • 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

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  • 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

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  • 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

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  • The Becker-Posner Blog

    Farewell

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

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  • 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.

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  • 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

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  • Stan Collender's Capital Gains and Games

    Capital Gains And Games Now Being Published By Forbes

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  • Stan Collender's Capital Gains and Games

    Big Changes Are Coming To Capital Gains And Games

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  • Stan Collender's Capital Gains and Games

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

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  • 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

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  • 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

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  • 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

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  • 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

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  • 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

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  • 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

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  • 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

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  • 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

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  • 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

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  • 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

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  • 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

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Richard Wood Richard Wood

Richard has published papers on wages policy, the taxation of financial arrangements and macroeconomic issues in Pacific island countries. Views expressed in these articles are his own and may not be shared by his employing agency. He is the author of How to Solve the European Economic Crisis: Challenging orthodoxy and creating new policy paradigms