Economics Roundtable

January 2014 Payroll Employment

We are getting closer to the previous peak.

Click on the image to get a bigger version.


Jobs

The best summary of the state of our economy is the graph (below) of employment as a fraction of population for people over 16 years old. The decrease is large, but the most troubling feature of the graph is the flat trend .


Click on the image to get a bigger version.


Graph-of-the-Year Candidates

Donald Marron likes European interest rates. Click on the image to get a bigger version. Can you find three distinct subperiods?

Brad DeLong favors the U.S. gdp gap.


Remember M1?

Money Supply M1 growth is now over 20% per year over a 12 month lag. M1 growth has touched 20% before, but not with excess reserves of $1.6 trillion. Where is M1 headed?


Click on the chart for a larger version.


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April 23, 2014, 4:04 am, 1259347

Nick is a philosopher at Oxford and he has worked with Larry Temkin and Nick Bostrom.  He typed up his version of our conversation (pdf), it starts with this:

Purpose of the conversation: I contacted Tyler to learn about his perspectives on existential risk and other long-run issues for ...


April 23, 2014, 3:33 am, 1259344
From Typepad:

What happened? Beginning Thursday evening, Typepad was hit with a distributed denial of service (DDoS) off and on through today. A DDoS attack is an attempt to make services unavailable, but in no way was your Typepad account compromised. All information in your Typepad account is secure, including billing ...


April 23, 2014, 3:33 am, 1259343

Unfortunately, in this case it is a research lab:

For more than a century, federal scientists have worked on Pivers Island near the historic town of Beaufort and the beaches of Emerald Isle studying the ocean and the fish, turtles and dolphins of its seagrass estuaries and rocky reefs.

Surrounded by three ...


April 23, 2014, 3:23 am, 1259342
Many thanks to Mark Seccombe for letting us know about this terrific HOD Economics opportunity - well worth a look. Please mention that you saw this on the tutor2u Economics blog! All the details you need are below. ...


April 23, 2014, 3:03 am, 1259323

Long-term unemployment creates a drag on inflation similar to that created by short-term joblessness, according to a new paper by a Federal Reserve economist paper that casts doubt on the notion that researchers should study the two categories separately.


April 23, 2014, 3:03 am, 1259316

Firmer economic data and solid corporate earnings from the United States are raising hopes that Asia will soon see a long-awaited bounce in exports to the West. The question is how strong ...


April 23, 2014, 3:03 am, 1259315

The Wall Street Journal’s Daily Report on Global Central Banks for Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Sign up for the newsletter: http://on.wsj.com/grandcentralsignup.

Highlights

Hannon’s Take: Central Bank Nirvana, Interrupted China Details Cut in Rural Banks’ Reserve Requirements Yuan ...


April 23, 2014, 3:03 am, 1259314

Housing demand is cracking under the weight of affordability. The National Association of Realtors reported Tuesday that sales of existing homes fell a small 0.2% in March to an annual rate of 4.59 million. It was the seventh drop in the last eight months, pushing sales 7.5% below ...


April 23, 2014, 3:03 am, 1259317

The steady increase in the proportion of Americans earning degrees after high school graduation continued in 2012 for the fifth straight year, according to a new report.

The jump to 39.4% is an increase of 0.7 percentage point over 2011, according to the annual Lumina Foundation report “A Stronger Nation.” ...


April 23, 2014, 3:03 am, 1259321

One of the Great Recession’s enduring mysteries has been the apparent breakdown in longstanding relationships between the economy’s growth rate and unemployment during and after the downturn.

Economists have long looked to a rule of thumb known as Okun’s Law, which suggests the jobless rate should fall by about one percentage ...


April 23, 2014, 3:03 am, 1259313

That America is becoming rapidly more racially diverse comes as no surprise. Less explored is how the increasing racial divide between the young and old will raise tough questions for policy makers.

One in two babies born last year was a minority child, according to Kenneth Johnson, a demographer at the ...


April 23, 2014, 3:03 am, 1259320

Adding to a string of recent data suggesting a slow start for the spring home-sales season, national builder NVR Inc. kicked off the industry’s earnings season with lackluster results. And bad winter weather may not wholly be to blame.


April 23, 2014, 3:03 am, 1259319

Oh, to be a mail carrier in North Dakota.

A mailman for the U.S. Postal Service closes the door on his postal vehicle. Getty Images

One


April 23, 2014, 3:03 am, 1259318

A roundup of economic news on Asia and emerging markets from around the Web.

The Developing World’s Growing Divide: Across the developing world, a bewildering fissure is opening between economies’ leading and lagging sectors, Dani Rodrik says.

Managing the Exchange Rate: Choosing the right exchange-rate regime is a perennial issue ...


April 23, 2014, 3:03 am, 1259322

Six years after ratcheting up mortgage-lending standards, lenders are showing signs of increased risk taking when it comes to mortgage credit, as the Wall Street Journal noted on Saturday.

Lending standards would have grown much tighter than they did through the downturn if it hadn’t been for the Federal ...


April 23, 2014, 3:03 am, 1259306

A roundup of economic news on Asia from around the Web.

Fight or flight in Myanmar? Over the last year Myanmar  has received more than US$3.6 billion in foreign direct investment, an increase of nearly 300 percent. But enormous barriers to future investment remain, and if reforms aren’t enacted ...


April 23, 2014, 3:03 am, 1259305
Stronger growth in China would boost economies across Asia. Agence France-Presse/Getty Images

An initial peek at April manufacturing data Wednesday suggests China’s economy is beginning ...


April 23, 2014, 3:03 am, 1259304
Australia’s economy is slowly recovering from the end of a decade-long boom in mining investment. Bloomberg

A benign reading on first-quarter inflation gives Australia’s central bank more ...


April 23, 2014, 3:03 am, 1259307

Global trade is quickly becoming less about container ships and oil pipelines and more about the exchange of goods and services that have a high degree of knowledge or intellectual content baked in, and often digital component to boot, according to a new report.

“Knowledge-intensive” flows, ranging from royalties payments to ...


April 23, 2014, 3:03 am, 1259308

The Supreme Court’s affirmative-action ruling Tuesday said that states may end racial preferences at public universities. What are the numbers behind race and college enrollment?

Data from the National Center for Education Statistics suggest that there has been a convergence among races going to college in recent years. But ...


April 23, 2014, 3:03 am, 1259311
Agence France-Presse/Getty Images

Former Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke said Tuesday the U.S.  central bank’s actions during the financial crisis could have been more effectively communicated to the ...


April 23, 2014, 3:03 am, 1259310

Fewer high school graduates are enrolling in college following the recession, according to a Labor Department report Tuesday.

Nearly 3 million people between ages 16 and 24 graduated from high school between January ...


April 23, 2014, 3:03 am, 1259309

The Federal Reserve should focus on evidence of wage gains rather than falling unemployment as a sign the economy is improving enough to start raising interest rates, two former Bank of England officials say.

Falling U.S. labor force participation reflects a weak economic recovery rather than more intractable structural factors such ...


April 23, 2014, 3:03 am, 1259312

The Obama administration has championed two programs that limit payments on student loans and ultimately forgive large chunks of debt. But with the use of these programs skyrocketing, the White House and others now want to limit how much student debt is forgiven.


April 23, 2014, 2:04 am, 1259303
(April 23, 2014 12:09 AM, by Bryan Caplan) Under open borders, over six billion people would be free to move to the United States. The population could increase by more than a factor of twenty. And under real open borders, there's no mandatory waiting period. If everyone wants... (1 COMMENTS)


April 23, 2014, 1:34 am, 1259302
Chinese manufacturing remains in contraction for 2014. Output and new orders were down for the 4th consecutive month, but at a slightly reduced pace according to the HSBC Flash China Manufacturing PMI.



Commenting on the Flash China Manufacturing ...


April 23, 2014, 1:23 am, 1259301

Last night I was at the Towson University International Markets Summit.  I’m grateful to the students for inviting me, as it is an honor.  During the presentation, I mentioned the book “Accounting for Value” by Stephen Penman.  I reviewed the book two years ago.  A great book, and one that ...


April 23, 2014, 1:23 am, 1259300
Here is a Country Profile revision sheet that I have created as part of my revision programme for my A2 students.The idea is to complete (neatly) one sheet each for six countries – leaving room on the other side for additional useful revision concepts and background context. ideally students will choose at least ...


April 23, 2014, 1:23 am, 1259299
The BBC's Robert Peston looks at the broader issue of heavy debt in the UK economy and whether it is holding back economic growth.


April 23, 2014, 1:03 am, 1259270
Stronger growth in China would boost economies across Asia. Agence France-Presse/Getty Images

An initial peek at April manufacturing data Wednesday suggests China’s economy is beginning ...


April 23, 2014, 12:34 am, 1259269

Some want maximum wages for business executives, who are said to make too much money. It’s unclear how Congress is qualified to set the “correct” wage for business owners and executives, and unlike members of Congress, highly-paid executives are not protected from ...


April 23, 2014, 12:04 am, 1259266
(Don Boudreaux)

In my latest column for the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review I discuss the (ir)relevance of Pres. Obama’s (in)famous “you didn’t build that” blurt.  While I agree that Mr. Obama was referring, with this blurt, to the building of infrastructure – so that his statement is largely factually correct – I argue ...


April 22, 2014, 11:03 pm, 1259236

A roundup of economic news on Asia from around the Web.

Fight or flight in Myanmar? Over the last year Myanmar  has received more than US$3.6 billion in foreign direct investment, an increase of nearly 300 percent. But enormous barriers to future investment remain, and if reforms aren’t enacted ...


April 22, 2014, 10:44 pm, 1259235
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April 22, 2014, 10:04 pm, 1259233

By Laurence M. Vance

According to the Budget and Accounting Act of 1921, the president must annually submit a proposed budget to Congress for the next fiscal year by the first Monday in February. Although he was late, as usual, President Obama ...


April 22, 2014, 9:03 pm, 1259217

The Supreme Court’s affirmative-action ruling Tuesday said that states may end racial preferences at public universities. What are the numbers behind race and college enrollment?

Data from the National Center for Education Statistics suggest that there has been a convergence among races going to college in recent years. But ...


April 22, 2014, 9:03 pm, 1259216

Global trade is quickly becoming less about container ships and oil pipelines and more about the exchange of goods and services that have a high degree of knowledge or intellectual content baked in, and often digital component to boot, according to a new report.

“Knowledge-intensive” flows, ranging from royalties payments to ...


April 22, 2014, 9:03 pm, 1259215
From Catherine Rampell at the WaPo: Americans think owning a home is better for them than it is

Over the past century, housing prices have grown at a compound annual rate of just 0.3 percent once one adjusts for inflation, according to my calculations using Shiller’s historical housing data. Over ...


April 22, 2014, 8:04 pm, 1259213

Kevin Drum tells readers to always click the link. His latest post is well worth reading. I don’t have much to add (I wrote a comment over there).


April 22, 2014, 7:33 pm, 1259209
Moving back home with parents is not just for millennials. A large number of those aged 50 to 64 are moving back home, for economic reasons, not for providing care to aged parents.

The LA Times reports Moving in with Parents Becomes More Common for the Middle-Aged


April 22, 2014, 7:33 pm, 1259208
Rank Country Daily OIL Production  (1,000 barrels), DEC 2013 1 Russia 10,118 2 Saudi Arabia 9,740 3 United States


April 22, 2014, 7:33 pm, 1259207

Here’s my AEI colleague Charles Murray’s open letter to the students of Azusa Pacific University, whose cowardly president abruptly “postponed” Charles’ scheduled appearance on campus to discuss his new book “The Curmudgeon’s Guide to Getting Ahead.”


April 22, 2014, 7:03 pm, 1259150

That America is becoming rapidly more racially diverse comes as no surprise. Less explored is how the increasing racial divide between the young and old will raise tough questions for policy makers.

One in two babies born last year was a minority child, according to Kenneth Johnson, a demographer at the ...


April 22, 2014, 7:03 pm, 1259151

Housing demand is cracking under the weight of affordability. The National Association of Realtors reported Tuesday that sales of existing homes fell a small 0.2% in March to an annual rate of 4.59 million. It was the seventh drop in the last eight months, pushing sales 7.5% below ...


April 22, 2014, 7:03 pm, 1259152

The Wall Street Journal’s Daily Report on Global Central Banks for Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Sign up for the newsletter: http://on.wsj.com/grandcentralsignup.

Highlights

Hannon’s Take: Central Bank Nirvana, Interrupted China Details Cut in Rural Banks’ Reserve Requirements Yuan ...


April 22, 2014, 7:03 pm, 1259149

The Obama administration has championed two programs that limit payments on student loans and ultimately forgive large chunks of debt. But with the use of these programs skyrocketing, the White House and others now want to limit how much student debt is forgiven.


April 22, 2014, 7:03 pm, 1259153

Firmer economic data and solid corporate earnings from the United States are raising hopes that Asia will soon see a long-awaited bounce in exports to the West. The question is how strong ...


April 22, 2014, 7:03 pm, 1259145

The Supreme Court’s affirmative-action ruling Tuesday said that states may end racial preferences at public universities. What are the numbers behind race and college enrollment?

Data from the National Center for Education Statistics suggest that there has been a convergence among races going to college in recent years. But ...


April 22, 2014, 7:03 pm, 1259144

Global trade is quickly becoming less about container ships and oil pipelines and more about the exchange of goods and services that have a high degree of knowledge or intellectual content baked in, and often digital component to boot, according to a new report.

“Knowledge-intensive” flows, ranging from royalties payments to ...


April 22, 2014, 7:03 pm, 1259146

The Federal Reserve should focus on evidence of wage gains rather than falling unemployment as a sign the economy is improving enough to start raising interest rates, two former Bank of England officials say.

Falling U.S. labor force participation reflects a weak economic recovery rather than more intractable structural factors such ...


April 22, 2014, 7:03 pm, 1259147

Fewer high school graduates are enrolling in college following the recession, according to a Labor Department report Tuesday.

Nearly 3 million people between ages 16 and 24 graduated from high school between January ...


April 22, 2014, 7:03 pm, 1259148
Agence France-Presse/Getty Images

Former Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke said Tuesday the U.S.  central bank’s actions during the financial crisis could have been more effectively communicated to the ...


April 22, 2014, 6:44 pm, 1259143
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April 22, 2014, 6:44 pm, 1259142
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April 22, 2014, 6:36 pm, 1259141

Buried deep in House Ways & Means Committee Chair Dave Camp’s tax reform plan is a proposal to require donor-advised funds to distribute contributions within five years. The proposal would be a major change for these charitable vehicles, where funds currently can sit indefinitely.

Donor-advised funds (DAFs) are an easy, low-cost ...


April 22, 2014, 6:34 pm, 1259140

Arvind Subramanian has a nice post, which provides additional evidence on the phenomenon of premature industrialization that I have talked about and documented previously.  Arvind works with data on industry rather than manufacturing per se, which I prefer. But the result is similar. The inverse ...


April 22, 2014, 6:04 pm, 1259139

Jim Fedako writes in today’s Mises Daily: 

One implication of a positive right to service from a business is the derivative positive right toquality service. So, it is not just that Elane Photography must take pictures of the commitment ceremony, it is that ...


April 22, 2014, 6:04 pm, 1259138

John McKerrow writes in today’s Mises Daily: 

Still, as important as the above explanations are, high time preference offers another reason for the conduct of American soldiers. The importance of time preference in understanding human action is nothing new to ...


April 22, 2014, 5:23 pm, 1259135
Here is a Country Profile revision sheet that I have created as part of my revision programme for my A2 students. The idea is to complete (neatly) one sheet each for six countries – leaving room on the other side for additional useful revision concepts and background context. ideally students will choose at ...


April 22, 2014, 5:03 pm, 1259074

Fewer high school graduates are enrolling in college following the recession, according to a Labor Department report Tuesday.

Nearly 3 million people between ages 16 and 24 graduated from high school between January ...


April 22, 2014, 5:03 pm, 1259073

The Federal Reserve should focus on evidence of wage gains rather than falling unemployment as a sign the economy is improving enough to start raising interest rates, two former Bank of England officials say.

Falling U.S. labor force participation reflects a weak economic recovery rather than more intractable structural factors such ...


April 22, 2014, 4:44 pm, 1259072
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April 22, 2014, 4:44 pm, 1259071
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April 22, 2014, 4:44 pm, 1259070
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April 22, 2014, 4:44 pm, 1259069

Megan McArdle spoke to Roberts this week about her new book, The Up Side of Down. Let's keep the conversation flowing; we love to hear from you, your students, your kids, your friends...

Questions below the fold.

Check Your Knowledge:

1. What does McArdle mean by "self-handicapping," and why does ...


April 22, 2014, 4:35 pm, 1259068
For some obscure reason, Tom's Sargent's Berkeley graduation address from seven years ago is now getting attention in the blogosphere. It's innocuous stuff - basically core ideas in economics boiled down to life lessons for graduating seniors. Paul Krugman seems a little insecure about it though (here and ...


April 22, 2014, 4:04 pm, 1259066

Benjamin Wiegold writes in today’s Mises Daily:

By allowing for more than one provider, not only will each develop their own areas of specialization, but competition will help all providers figure out what works and what ...


April 22, 2014, 4:04 pm, 1259065

Do you know that Oxford University Press “very short paperback books” series?  This is the latest entry, by Avinash Dixit, self-recommending.


April 22, 2014, 3:33 pm, 1259063
ECB president Mario Draghi has been making lots of noise recently about cutting interest rates because the euro is too strong and banks aren't lending enough.

Realistically, there's not much room to cut with rates already at a rock-bottom .25 percent.

Some suggest negative interest rates are the ...


April 22, 2014, 3:33 pm, 1259062

As with physicist Stephen Hawking’s “A Brief History of Time,” economist Thomas Piketty’s 700-page “Capital in the Twenty-First Century” is a bestseller destined to have a steep purchased-to-read ratio. For many on the left, it will be enough to simply know that Piketty’s grand theory of capitalism affirms their preexisting worldview: ...


April 22, 2014, 3:33 pm, 1259061

My AEI colleague Mark Perry recently posted a brief 2007 speech given by Nobel economist Thomas Sargent to graduates of Cal-Berkeley. It’s basically a dozen economic observations. Here is No. 4: “Everyone responds to incentives, including people you want to help. That is why social safety nets don’t always end ...


April 22, 2014, 3:03 pm, 1259000

That America is becoming rapidly more racially diverse comes as no surprise. Less explored is how the increasing racial divide between the young and old will raise tough questions for policy makers.

One in two babies born last year was a minority child, according to Kenneth Johnson, a demographer at the ...


April 22, 2014, 3:03 pm, 1258998
Agence France-Presse/Getty Images

Former Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke said Tuesday the U.S.  central bank’s actions during the financial crisis could have been more effectively communicated to the ...


April 22, 2014, 3:03 pm, 1258999

The Obama administration has championed two programs that limit payments on student loans and ultimately forgive large chunks of debt. But with the use of these programs skyrocketing, the White House and others now want to limit how much student debt is forgiven.


April 22, 2014, 3:03 pm, 1258997

On the road again, will blog as I can; For now, I have a new column:

Report Card on Fed Policy During the Great Recession, by Mark Thoma: If the economy evolves according to the Federal Reserve’s forecast, quantitative easing is on track to come to a close by ...


April 22, 2014, 3:03 pm, 1258996
A decline in existing home sales doesn't mean the housing recovery is over. Far from it! For existing home sales we need to look at the composition of sales (distressed vs. conventional), and the percent of conventional sales are increasing (even as investor buying has slowed too). That is ...


April 22, 2014, 3:03 pm, 1258995
Economist Tom Lawler sent me the updated table below of short sales, foreclosures and cash buyers for several selected cities in March. Lawler writes: "Note the increase in the foreclosure sales share in Florida."

From CR: The decline in "distressed" share was one of the positives I mentioned ...


April 22, 2014, 2:45 pm, 1258994
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April 22, 2014, 2:45 pm, 1258993
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April 22, 2014, 2:35 pm, 1258992

By James Kwak

That seems like a nonsensical question. Of course, each of us born where he or she was born, and we didn’t have much choice in the matter. But, philosopher John Rawls asked, if you lived behind a veil of ignorance, not knowing what position you would occupy in ...


April 22, 2014, 2:34 pm, 1258991

Yesterday it was reported that a Federal agency had approved the sale of powdered alcohol, today we learned that this decisionhas been reversed:

A federal agency that had originally approved a new powdered alcohol product reversed its position Monday.

The Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau approved Palcohol’s powdered ...


April 22, 2014, 2:04 pm, 1258990

Now in ebook format or paperback: The Gold Standard: Perspectives in the Austrian School

The world’s financial system is in a precarious state, and everywhere the cry is heard for reform. But a reform to what? More government created fiat money under ...


April 22, 2014, 2:04 pm, 1258989

Register here. 

Writes Robert Murphy:

The fall of the Soviet Union should have spelled the demise of central planning, yet the socialist mentality thrives — albeit in a diluted form — in all governments in the so-called “free world.” No one explained the failures of pure socialism and of (the more ...


April 22, 2014, 2:04 pm, 1258987

April 22, 2014, 2:04 pm, 1258988

I enjoyed this book, which is authored by Jeffrey Towson and Jonathan Woetzel.  Here is one excerpt:

Looking at China today, what you don’t see is an integrated continental economy.  You don’t see infrastructure connecting each part of the country, like say in the United States.  That is likely ...


April 22, 2014, 1:33 pm, 1258981

The EIA released new energy data recently (see Table 7) showing that the US had the second most energy-efficient economy in history last year, based on the amount of energy consumed to produce each real dollar of Gross ...


April 22, 2014, 1:23 pm, 1258980
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April 22, 2014, 1:23 pm, 1258979
For many developing countries tourism is already a major part of their economy and a significant source of extra factor incomes and employment. But there is a fierce debate about the economic and social consequences of tourism - what roles can tourism play in economic development? Can travel to developing countries do more harm ...


April 22, 2014, 1:23 pm, 1258978
Here is a new ten question matching concepts quiz powered by the Zondle platform - good luck!


April 22, 2014, 1:23 pm, 1258977
The first of a set of ten question revision quizzes covering A2 macro topics - good luck!


April 22, 2014, 1:03 pm, 1258914

Congressman Patrick Tiberi (R-OH), a House Ways and Means member, recently introduced a bill (H.R. 4457, “America’s Small Business Tax Relief Act of 2014”) that would restore Section 179 to 2013 levels and make the law permanent.

In 2013, Section 179 allowed businesses to write-off the full cost of certain ...


April 22, 2014, 1:03 pm, 1258913

Housing demand is cracking under the weight of affordability. The National Association of Realtors reported Tuesday that sales of existing homes fell a small 0.2% in March to an annual rate of 4.59 million. It was the seventh drop in the last eight months, pushing sales 7.5% below ...


April 22, 2014, 12:44 pm, 1258910
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April 22, 2014, 12:44 pm, 1258909
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April 22, 2014, 12:44 pm, 1258911
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April 22, 2014, 12:44 pm, 1258912
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April 22, 2014, 12:44 pm, 1258907
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April 22, 2014, 12:44 pm, 1258908
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April 22, 2014, 12:44 pm, 1258905
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April 22, 2014, 12:44 pm, 1258906
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April 22, 2014, 12:44 pm, 1258904
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April 22, 2014, 12:44 pm, 1258903
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April 22, 2014, 12:35 pm, 1258902
Has the slow decline in the pace of consumer price inflation in the US hit bottom? If so, is that good news for the economy? A cautious “yes” applies in both cases, albeit with the usual caveats. Looking at the … Continue reading →


April 22, 2014, 12:35 pm, 1258901

There's one curious thing about Ukip's notorious posters that hasn't been mentioned - that they represent a flat rejection of orthodox neoclassical economics.

"British workers are hit hard by unlimited cheap labour" says one poster. However, in theory this would be ...


April 22, 2014, 12:04 pm, 1258898

I’ve just finished reading Leo Tolstoy’s remarkable book The Kingdom of God Is Within You. This was written in Russian and completed in 1893, but the Russian censors forbade its publication. It circulated in unpublished form in Russia, however, and was ...


April 22, 2014, 12:04 pm, 1258897
By George Smith 

If you were asked how we should go about achieving real economic growth throughout the economy rather than just certain sectors of it, what would you suggest?  Would you revisit the Keynesian toolbox and call for a really, really ...


April 22, 2014, 12:04 pm, 1258896
(April 22, 2014 11:26 AM, by Scott Sumner) Many people assume that Germany has long been an economic success story. It was certainly successful back in the 1950s and 1960s. But as recently as 2004 it was widely viewed as the "sick man of Europe" despite all those... (0 COMMENTS)


April 22, 2014, 11:33 am, 1258895
I'm sitting behind my computer with an amazing view out my window. Europe (for me, France in particular) is beautiful this time of year.


April 22, 2014, 11:33 am, 1258894

Since today is Earth Day, it seems a pretty good time to ask, “Why isn’t the public warming to the climate change debate?” AEI’s Karlyn Bowman and Jennifer Marsico tell us why climate change won’t be a “top priority in the 2014 elections and beyond,” even though, “As Gallup ...


April 22, 2014, 11:33 am, 1258893

In a great editorial in 2009 (excerpts appear below), Investor’s Business Daily reminded us of the main, but unrecognized force that has driven the environmental improvements that have taken place since the first Earth Day in 1970 – capitalism, and the wealth generated by the free market. ...


April 22, 2014, 11:03 am, 1258831

That’s the title of a conference that took place at USC this weekend, co-organized by Joshua Aizenman, Menzie Chinn and Robert Dekle, and cosponsored by the USC Center for International Studies, USC School of International Relations, Journal of International Money and Finance, and the ...


April 22, 2014, 11:03 am, 1258830
The NAR reports: Existing-Home Sales Remain Soft in March

Total existing-home sales, which are completed transactions that include single-family homes, townhomes, condominiums and co-ops, slipped 0.2 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.59 million in March from 4.60 million in February, and are 7.5 percent below the ...


April 22, 2014, 10:04 am, 1258824

April 22, 2014, 9:33 am, 1258819

From my op-ed in today’s Investor’s Business Daily (which started in April 1984 and is now celebrating “30 years of innovation and growth”) titled “Earth Day: Hail Fossil Fuels, Energy of the Future“:

On Earth Day, according to various advocates, “events are held worldwide to increase ...


April 22, 2014, 9:33 am, 1258818

From my op-ed in today’s Investor’s Business Daily (which started in April 1984 and is now celebrating “30 years of innovation and growth”) titled “Earth Day: Hail Fossil Fuels, Energy of the Future“:

On Earth Day, according to various advocates, “events are held worldwide to increase ...


April 22, 2014, 9:03 am, 1258755
According to Black Knight's First Look report for March, the percent of loans delinquent decreased in March compared to February,and declined by more than 16% year-over-year. This is the lowest level for mortgage delinquencies since October 2007.

Also the percent of loans in the foreclosure process declined ...


April 22, 2014, 8:04 am, 1258753

Suresh Naidu writes:

…let me suggest that if we’re aiming for politically hopeless ideas, open migration is as least as good as the global wealth tax in the short run, and perhaps complementary.One weakness of the book is its focus on the large core economies (the data obviously is ...


April 22, 2014, 8:04 am, 1258752
(Don Boudreaux)

… is specially selected for this Earth Day; it’s from pages 104-105 of Pierre Desrochers’s and Hiroko Shimizu’s splendid 2012 book, The Locovore’s Dilemma: In Praise of the 10,000-Mile Diet (original emphasis; footnotes excluded; links added):

[T]hriving cities are not an environmental problem, but rather the best means to ...


April 22, 2014, 7:33 am, 1258749

Robert Doarargues that significant welfare reform is possible.

From early 2007 until the end of 2013, I was the commissioner of the New York City Human Resources Administration (HRA), the agency with the1960s-eraname that occupies 180 Water Street. And before 2007, going back to early 1996, I ...


April 22, 2014, 7:33 am, 1258747

Interesting;

Once there was an idea, now mostly forgotten, that the “tortoise” India could eventually overtake the “hare” – China. “That’s an exaggeration, I think,” he says. A crucial difference between the two countries is the type of corruption they have. India’s is classic “rent-seeking”, where people ...


April 22, 2014, 7:33 am, 1258748

You can support John Lott on Indiegogo now. His center concludes that "unbiased research shows that citizens protecting themselves with firearms leads to lower crime".


April 22, 2014, 7:33 am, 1258745

"U.S. policy has gone liberals’ way for 70 years".

In response, conservatives make two simple claims: Most policies under debate are liberal, and Republican leaders sacrifice conservative principles when they compromise. History shows they are right on both counts.


April 22, 2014, 7:33 am, 1258744

"Majority of Pensions Headed for Bankruptcy".

Investment returns may be up since the recession, but public pensions are still in deep, deep trouble. On Wednesday, the hedge fund Bridgewater Associates released the results of a “stress test” on American public pension plans, and they weren’t pretty. According ...


April 22, 2014, 7:33 am, 1258746

Kevin D. Williamson offers a nice economics lesson.

Link via Glenn Reynolds who observes "I fought the law of supply and demand, and the law won."


April 22, 2014, 7:33 am, 1258743
"Years of Living Dangerously" was aired at Harvard Business School recently. Of course, the creators of this Showtime Show hope to motivate voters to support a carbon tax. I wish that they succeed. But the HBS students offer a different pathway for coping with climate change. HBS ...


April 22, 2014, 7:33 am, 1258742
Economix is coming to an end, but it will be succeeded by The Upshot, a new politics, policy and economics site.


April 22, 2014, 7:23 am, 1258741

Readers Question: Can you please explain how speculators can gain a profit from speculative attack on currencies?

A speculative attack on a currency occurs when ‘investors’ believe that the value of a currency is over-valued and therefore, they sell that currency in ...


April 22, 2014, 7:03 am, 1258700

The Wall Street Journal’s Daily Report on Global Central Banks for Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Sign up for the newsletter: http://on.wsj.com/grandcentralsignup.

Highlights

Hannon’s Take: Central Bank Nirvana, Interrupted China Details Cut in Rural Banks’ Reserve Requirements Yuan ...


April 22, 2014, 6:04 am, 1258699

Here is John’s new paper (pdf):

The financial crisis was a systemic run. Hence, the central regulatory response should be to eliminate run-prone securities from the financial system. By contrast, current regulation guarantees run-prone bank liabilities and instead tries to regulate bank assets and their ...


April 22, 2014, 6:04 am, 1258698


April 22, 2014, 6:04 am, 1258697

by J Tzimeskes  

Are Markets Better Described as Robust than Efficient?

Something that I think all of us with private sector jobs experience in our day to day lives is just how incompetent a large number of private businesses are. These may be our customers, suppliers, or another division. Yet, somehow, ...


April 22, 2014, 5:03 am, 1258659

The steady increase in the proportion of Americans earning degrees after high school graduation continued in 2012 for the fifth straight year, according to a new report.

The jump to 39.4% is an increase of 0.7 percentage point over 2011, according to the annual Lumina Foundation report “A Stronger Nation.” ...


April 22, 2014, 5:03 am, 1258658

Firmer economic data and solid corporate earnings from the United States are raising hopes that Asia will soon see a long-awaited bounce in exports to the West. The question is how strong that bounce will be.


April 22, 2014, 5:03 am, 1258657

Following our analysis that median new home sale prices in the U.S. have begun to contract, we decided to dig deeper to find out more. We'll begin with the Wall Street Journal's description of the general climate in the U.S. real estate industry ...


April 22, 2014, 5:03 am, 1258656

April 22, 2014, 3:03 am, 1258641

The recovery from the financial crisis is now one of the longest in U.S. history, and economists don’t see it running out of steam anytime soon. But why are they so confident?

The Wall Street Journal conducts a monthly gauge of economist sentiment, asking them to assess the probability ...


April 22, 2014, 3:03 am, 1258640

The Conference Board’s leading index is designed to forecast economic activity, not the weather. So, the split between the leading and coincident indexes so far this year offers further evidence of how the weather slowed growth in the first quarter. It also supports expectations that economic activity is picking up ...


April 22, 2014, 3:03 am, 1258639
A NASA image released this week shows a recent night view of the Korean Peninsula. Apart from a spot of light in Pyongyang, North Korea is mostly cloaked ...


April 22, 2014, 3:03 am, 1258643

The Wall Street Journal’s Daily Report on Global Central Banks for Monday, April 21, 2014
Sign up for the newsletter: http://on.wsj.com/grandcentralsignup.

Highlights


Hilsenrath’s Take: Alternative Jobless Measures Reinforce Fed’s “Low-For-Long” Message Hacking May Pose ...


April 22, 2014, 3:03 am, 1258645

Business economists’ outlook for near-term hiring strengthened this spring to the highest mark in nearly three years, a new survey found.

The poll by the National Association for Business Economics said 43% of ...


April 22, 2014, 3:03 am, 1258644

There are no Federal Reserve speakers this week due to the blackout period that precedes Federal Open Market Committee meetings. The next FOMC meeting will be held on April 29 – 30. http://www.federalreserve.gov/monetarypolicy/fomcc
alendars.htm

Wednesday

Thailand’s central bank holds policy meeting

Thursday

ECB’s Draghi speaks in Amsterdam at 0900 GMT (Van Tartwijk attends/Blackstone speech ...


April 22, 2014, 3:03 am, 1258642

A common reaction to any story mentioning economic recovery goes something like this: “On what planet are you living? The economy is terrible.” The sentiment is so common that a Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll last month showed 57% of respondents feel the economy remains in recession.

The difference ...


April 22, 2014, 3:03 am, 1258636

One of the Great Recession’s enduring mysteries has been the apparent breakdown in longstanding relationships between the economy’s growth rate and unemployment during and after the downturn.

Economists have long looked to a rule of thumb known as Okun’s Law, which suggests the jobless rate should fall by about one percentage ...


April 22, 2014, 3:03 am, 1258638

Long-term unemployment creates a drag on inflation similar to that created by short-term joblessness, according to a new paper by a Federal Reserve economist paper that casts doubt on the notion that researchers should study the two categories separately.


April 22, 2014, 3:03 am, 1258632

The steady increase in the proportion of Americans earning degrees after high school graduation continued in 2012 for the fifth straight year, according to a new report.

The jump to 39.4% is an increase of 0.7 percentage point over 2011, according to the annual Lumina Foundation report “A Stronger Nation.” ...


April 22, 2014, 3:03 am, 1258634

Oh, to be a mail carrier in North Dakota.

A mailman for the U.S. Postal Service closes the door on his postal vehicle. Getty Images

One


April 22, 2014, 3:03 am, 1258633

A roundup of economic news on Asia and emerging markets from around the Web.

The Developing World’s Growing Divide: Across the developing world, a bewildering fissure is opening between economies’ leading and lagging sectors, Dani Rodrik says.

Managing the Exchange Rate: Choosing the right exchange-rate regime is a perennial issue ...


April 22, 2014, 3:03 am, 1258637

Six years after ratcheting up mortgage-lending standards, lenders are showing signs of increased risk taking when it comes to mortgage credit, as the Wall Street Journal noted on Saturday.

Lending standards would have grown much tighter than they did through the downturn if it hadn’t been for the Federal ...


April 22, 2014, 3:03 am, 1258635

Adding to a string of recent data suggesting a slow start for the spring home-sales season, national builder NVR Inc. kicked off the industry’s earnings season with lackluster results. And bad winter weather may not wholly be to blame.


April 22, 2014, 2:44 am, 1258631
No one really knows how fast, or how slow, federal spending on health care will climb over the next decade or two—but the answer is crucial to the outlook for the budget and the national debt.


April 22, 2014, 2:34 am, 1258630

Professor Thomas Piketty of the Paris School of Economics has come to America to tell us that many of our problems could be solved with higher taxes on wealth and an increase in the minimum wage. Sunday’s New York Times called him a Rock Star.

Most of the analysis of Piketty’s ...


April 22, 2014, 1:33 am, 1258629
Ezechiel Copic, Luis Gonzalez, Caitlin Gorback, Blake Gwinn, and ErnstSchaumburg

Introduction
The U.S. Department of the Treasury (Treasury) auctioned its first floating-rate note (FRN) on January 29, 2014. With this auction, Treasury introduced the first new marketable debt instrument since Treasury inflation-protected securities (TIPS) in 1997. The new ...


April 22, 2014, 1:23 am, 1258628

Are index funds that are capitalization-weighted the best funds to invest in?  No.  So why do we talk about index funds so much?  Because they represent the average dollar in the market.  In principle, everyone could invest in a comprehensive index fund, and there would be no effects on the ...


April 22, 2014, 1:03 am, 1258609

The recovery from the financial crisis is now one of the longest in U.S. history, and economists don’t see it running out of steam anytime soon. But why are they so confident?

The Wall Street Journal conducts a monthly gauge of economist sentiment, asking them to assess the probability ...


April 22, 2014, 1:03 am, 1258608

The Conference Board’s leading index is designed to forecast economic activity, not the weather. So, the split between the leading and coincident indexes so far this year offers further evidence of how the weather slowed growth in the first quarter. It also supports expectations that economic activity is picking up ...


April 22, 2014, 1:03 am, 1258610

A common reaction to any story mentioning economic recovery goes something like this: “On what planet are you living? The economy is terrible.” The sentiment is so common that a Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll last month showed 57% of respondents feel the economy remains in recession.

The difference ...


April 22, 2014, 1:03 am, 1258612

There are no Federal Reserve speakers this week due to the blackout period that precedes Federal Open Market Committee meetings. The next FOMC meeting will be held on April 29 – 30. http://www.federalreserve.gov/monetarypolicy/fomcc
alendars.htm

Wednesday

Thailand’s central bank holds policy meeting

Thursday

ECB’s Draghi speaks in Amsterdam at 0900 GMT (Van Tartwijk attends/Blackstone speech ...


April 22, 2014, 1:03 am, 1258613

Business economists’ outlook for near-term hiring strengthened this spring to the highest mark in nearly three years, a new survey found.

The poll by the National Association for Business Economics said 43% of ...


April 22, 2014, 1:03 am, 1258607
A NASA image released this week shows a recent night view of the Korean Peninsula. Apart from a spot of light in Pyongyang, North Korea is mostly cloaked ...


April 22, 2014, 1:03 am, 1258611

The Wall Street Journal’s Daily Report on Global Central Banks for Monday, April 21, 2014
Sign up for the newsletter: http://on.wsj.com/grandcentralsignup.

Highlights


Hilsenrath’s Take: Alternative Jobless Measures Reinforce Fed’s “Low-For-Long” Message Hacking May Pose ...


April 22, 2014, 1:03 am, 1258606

Long-term unemployment creates a drag on inflation similar to that created by short-term joblessness, according to a new paper by a Federal Reserve economist paper that casts doubt on the notion that researchers should study the two categories separately.


April 22, 2014, 1:03 am, 1258605

Six years after ratcheting up mortgage-lending standards, lenders are showing signs of increased risk taking when it comes to mortgage credit, as the Wall Street Journal noted on Saturday.

Lending standards would have grown much tighter than they did through the downturn if it hadn’t been for the Federal ...


April 22, 2014, 1:03 am, 1258600

The steady increase in the proportion of Americans earning degrees after high school graduation continued in 2012 for the fifth straight year, according to a new report.

The jump to 39.4% is an increase of 0.7 percentage point over 2011, according to the annual Lumina Foundation report “A Stronger Nation.” ...


April 22, 2014, 1:03 am, 1258602

Oh, to be a mail carrier in North Dakota.

A mailman for the U.S. Postal Service closes the door on his postal vehicle. Getty Images

One


April 22, 2014, 1:03 am, 1258601

A roundup of economic news on Asia and emerging markets from around the Web.

The Developing World’s Growing Divide: Across the developing world, a bewildering fissure is opening between economies’ leading and lagging sectors, Dani Rodrik says.

Managing the Exchange Rate: Choosing the right exchange-rate regime is a perennial issue ...


April 22, 2014, 1:03 am, 1258604

One of the Great Recession’s enduring mysteries has been the apparent breakdown in longstanding relationships between the economy’s growth rate and unemployment during and after the downturn.

Economists have long looked to a rule of thumb known as Okun’s Law, which suggests the jobless rate should fall by about one percentage ...


April 22, 2014, 1:03 am, 1258603

Adding to a string of recent data suggesting a slow start for the spring home-sales season, national builder NVR Inc. kicked off the industry’s earnings season with lackluster results. And bad winter weather may not wholly be to blame.


April 22, 2014, 1:03 am, 1258599

It’s interesting how “pro-business” policies do not appear to be conducive to rapid employment growth.

Employment in Governor Walker’s Wisconsin, as in Governor Brownback’s Kansas, has lagged behind that of the United States (and behind that of Governor Dayton’s Minnesota and Governor Brown’s California).


April 22, 2014, 12:34 am, 1258598

Users of government roads make many demands. We want to go fast, and still be safe, among many other things. As a monopoly provider, the state has no motivation to accommodate these needs, but to crack down on anyone who does not conform ...


April 22, 2014, 12:04 am, 1258597
(April 22, 2014 02:01 AM, by David Henderson) Paul Krugman has a strange post on solar power that contradicts basic microeconomics. He writes: Like just about everyone who has looked at the numbers on renewable energy, solar power in particular, I was wowed by the progress. Something really... (0 COMMENTS)