Economics Roundtable

May 2014 Payroll Employment

After 76 months, we finally got back to the prerecession level of payroll employment.

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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September 1, 2015, 1:33 pm, 1537452
Those expecting a boost from the ISM report for August were disappointed today.

The Bloomberg Consensus estimate for ISM was 52.8, with a range of 51.5 to 54.0. The report was below any economist's expectation at 51.1.

The ISM index, at a lower-than-expected 51.1, is signaling the ...


September 1, 2015, 1:33 pm, 1537451
Wired Magazine reportsthat John List and J-PAL are not the only researchers running field experiments. Ecologists are running "out of sample" field experiments to test which plants, trees and creatures can adapt to extreme heat that they have not been exposed to in the past. The main research ...


September 1, 2015, 1:03 pm, 1537390

The country’s manufacturing sector is in decline. In 1979, about 19.6 million Americans were employed in manufacturing. Today the number stands at 12.3 million. Despite—or perhaps because of—this economic shift, manufacturing firms tend to be the recipients of substantial state incentives. That’s one takeaway from our new


September 1, 2015, 1:03 pm, 1537389
International Monetary Fund managing director Christine Lagarde speaks in Jakarta, Indonesia, on Tuesday. BAY ISMOYO/AFP/GETTY IMAGES

When questions about the fate of the global economy arise, the ...


September 1, 2015, 1:03 pm, 1537388
A steelworker maneuvers around metal trusses at Taylor University in Upland, Ind., in August. JEFF MOREHEAD/THE CHRONICLE-TRIBUNE VIA AP

U.S. construction spending rose to the highest level ...


September 1, 2015, 1:03 pm, 1537387

The conclusion to "Leveraged bubbles," by Òscar Jordà, Moritz Schularick, and Alan Taylor:

... In this column, we turned to economic history for the first comprehensive assessment of the economic risks of asset price bubbles. We provide evidence about which types of bubbles matter and how their economic costs differ. ...


September 1, 2015, 1:03 pm, 1537386
The Census Bureau reported that overall construction spending increased in July:

The U.S. Census Bureau of the Department of Commerce announced today that construction spending during July 2015 was estimated at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $1,083.4 billion, 0.7 percent above the revised June estimate of $1,075.9 billion. ...


September 1, 2015, 1:03 pm, 1537385
Notes: This CoreLogic House Price Index report is for July. The recent Case-Shiller index release was for June. The CoreLogic HPI is a three month weighted average and is not seasonally adjusted (NSA).

From CoreLogic: CoreLogic Reports Home Prices Rose by 6.9 Percent Year Over Year ...


September 1, 2015, 12:44 pm, 1537384
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September 1, 2015, 12:34 pm, 1537383
Private nonfarm payrolls in the US are projected to increase by 194,000 (seasonally adjusted) in tomorrow’s August update of the ADP Employment Report vs. the previous month, based on The Capital Spectator’s average point forecast for several econometric estimates. The average projection reflects a modestly stronger gain vs. July’s advance. ...


September 1, 2015, 12:04 pm, 1537382

September 1, 2015, 12:04 pm, 1537381
(September 1, 2015 12:57 PM, by David Henderson) I enjoyed Bryan Caplan's post early this morning. In my view, the best comments so far are by Daniel Fountain and by Thomas B, although Mike Hammock and Hasdrubal make good points also. I look forward to reading Bryan's responses... (1 ...


September 1, 2015, 12:04 pm, 1537380

September 1, 2015, 12:04 pm, 1537379

Europe’s illegal immigration problems are daily growing more serious, evidenced by the human tragedies of North Africans and Middle Easterners dying at sea or in overcrowded vehicles. Precise statistics are in short supply, but the numbers involved are unquestionably at crisis levels.


September 1, 2015, 12:04 pm, 1537378

India reported slowing real GDP growth for the last quarter. This might turn out to be helpful. While the new numbers mean little for the economy, they may push policy-makers closer to realizing that only difficult reform will enable prosperity.

For the April to June quarter, the first in the fiscal ...


September 1, 2015, 12:04 pm, 1537377

The Common Core is in the hot seat when it comes to education policy and the 2016 election. Many GOP candidates especially have voiced their concerns about the standards, with Chris Christie and Scott Walker even rescinding their previous support.

While candidates have been criticized for not accepting the standards with ...


September 1, 2015, 11:03 am, 1537312
The ISM manufacturing index suggested expansion in August. The PMI was at 51.1% in August, down from 52.7% in July. The employment index was at 51.2%, down from 52.7% in July, and the new orders index was at 51.6%, down from 56.5%.

From the Institute for Supply Management: ...


September 1, 2015, 10:44 am, 1537311
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September 1, 2015, 10:44 am, 1537310
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September 1, 2015, 10:44 am, 1537309
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September 1, 2015, 10:44 am, 1537308
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September 1, 2015, 10:34 am, 1537307
US economic risk increased at the end of August, according to a markets-based estimate of macro conditions. The Macro-Markets Risk Index (MMRI) closed at +0.4% yesterday (August 31) after briefly slipping into mildly negative territory for several days last week. MMRI’s temporary dip into the red in late-August marks the ...


September 1, 2015, 10:04 am, 1537302

Ten thousand Icelanders have offered to welcome Syrian refugees into their homes, as part of a Facebook campaign launched by a prominent author after the government said it would take in only a handful.

After the Icelandic government announced last month that it would only accept 50 humanitarian refugees ...


September 1, 2015, 10:04 am, 1537301

September 1, 2015, 10:04 am, 1537300

In September of each year, the U.S. Census Bureau releases data from the Annual Social and Economic Supplement of the Current Population Survey (CPS ASEC). The CPS ASEC is a nationally representative survey of more than 60,000 American households, and among other things, it is used to calculate the official ...


September 1, 2015, 10:04 am, 1537299

This summer, Republican presidential aspirants have roundly criticized the Common Core reading and math standards as federally supported and educationally unsound — and been lambasted by Beltway pundits for having the temerity to do so. The Washington Post editorial page laments that Republican “ideologues have so disfigured Common Core that ...


September 1, 2015, 8:44 am, 1537235
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September 1, 2015, 8:34 am, 1537234
August was a painful month for most markets around the world. Other than fractional gains in foreign bond markets (mainly in developed countries), last month delivered a deep shade of red ink far and wide. The big loser: stocks in emerging markets (MSCI EM Index), which shed a hefty 9.0% ...


September 1, 2015, 8:04 am, 1537233
(Don Boudreaux)

… is from page 75 of Felix Morley’s 1949 essay “State and Society,” which is reprinted as Essay Two in ...


September 1, 2015, 7:33 am, 1537228

|Peter Boettke|

I give my first lecture in modern history of economic thought class tonight, and we are starting with Alfred Marshall'sPrinciples, Book I and Book V. We are also discussing Baumol's QJE (2000) article on what Marshall knew and didn't know about modern economics.


September 1, 2015, 7:33 am, 1537226

I think S. E. Cupp is on to something here.

I'd add that other elements in Trump's appeal are he seems to be spontaneous and he seems to be having fun. We have so many politicians to who talk in poll-tested, focus-grouped, overly-rehearsed phrases that Trump, by sounding approximately ...


September 1, 2015, 7:33 am, 1537227

Matches my observation: rarely is anything ever good enough for Liberals. As an old joke goes, "Give them an inch and they want a foot. Give them a foot and they want a yard. Give them a yard and they want a swimming pool built in it."


September 1, 2015, 7:33 am, 1537225

Very encouraging. (Unless you belong to OPEC.)

Since oil prices began falling, most shale producers have responded by embracing hard times, working to make their operations more efficient, renegotiating contracts with service companies (such as Halliburton) and, most significant, cutting production costs and spending on new wells.


September 1, 2015, 7:33 am, 1537224

John Kay makes an argument that I've seen elsewhere, but he does it exceptionally well:

But the technological advances of the past decade seem to have increased the efficiency of households, rather than the efficiency of businesses, to an unusual extent. An ereader in the pocket replaces ...


September 1, 2015, 7:33 am, 1537223
China manufacturing and services are both in contraction at the fastest rate since early 2009.

The Caixin China General Manufacturing PMI shows operating conditions deteriorate at fastest rate since March 2009.

Chinese manufacturers saw the quickest deterioration in operating conditions for over six years in August, ...


September 1, 2015, 7:33 am, 1537222
Rod Garratt

The 2012 Nobel Prize in economics was awarded to Alvin E. Roth and Lloyd S. Shapley for their work on matching problems. Two-sided matching problems, like assigning jobs to workers or dorm rooms to students, can be complicated enough. But sometimes the matching problem can ...


September 1, 2015, 7:23 am, 1537221

Photo Credit: Simon Cunningham

This is just a “what if” piece. If one of my readers knows better than me, leave a comment, or email me. Thanks.

The Surprise Dividend

Imagine one day in 2019 that your favorite dividend-paying ...


September 1, 2015, 6:44 am, 1537177

The risk that asset price bubbles pose for financial stability is still not clear. Drawing on 140 years of data, this column argues that leverage is the critical determinant of crisis damage. When fuelled by credit booms, asset price bubbles are associated with high financial crisis risk; upon collapse, they ...


September 1, 2015, 6:44 am, 1537176

A nation’s hard power is based on its ability to coerce, while its soft power depends on the attractiveness of its culture, political ideals, and policies. This column shows that a country’s soft power has measureable effects on its exports. Countries that are admired for their positive global influence export ...


September 1, 2015, 6:34 am, 1537175
● Dallas Fed Index: General Business Activity Index tumbles in August ● Chicago PMI ticks down to 54.4 for Aug, but remains in solid growth territory ● Eurozone PMI: manufacturing activity steady at moderate growth level in August ● China PMI: factory output falls sharply in August ● Eurozone unemployment ...


September 1, 2015, 6:04 am, 1537174

In his seminal essay “How to argue effectively,” humorist Dave Barry had some advice for what to do “when your opponent is obviously right and you are spectacularly wrong.” The answer, he wrote, is simple: “Compare your opponent to Adolf Hitler.”

That is precisely what Hillary Clinton did Friday. A day ...


September 1, 2015, 5:33 am, 1537172

Guess. Go ahead, guess.

Could it be that progressive policies intended to reduce income inequality actually cause it to increase? Quite likely, yes. The reason has to do with the effect of these policies on the low end of the income distribution. The government doesn’t count the ...


September 1, 2015, 5:33 am, 1537171

September 1, 2015, 5:03 am, 1537120

Are you tired of paying your your mobile phone bill every month? What if you could get your ...


September 1, 2015, 5:03 am, 1537119

In response to this from Paul Romer:

The Clinical-Bench Science Distinction in Macro: I had hoped to find time to offer a more thoughtful response to Simon Wren Lewis’s most recent comments on the way forward in macroeconomics...

For now, I’ll go ahead with what I hope is ...


September 1, 2015, 5:03 am, 1537118

Everyone seems to be posting the syllabus for the graduate courses they are teaching this fall. Mine is simple. In my Monetary Theory and Policy course we are going to go through this book by Jordi Gali (don't tell anyone I actually know this stuff):


September 1, 2015, 3:03 am, 1537078

September 1, 2015, 3:03 am, 1537077

From Vox EU:

Dynasties and development, by Jan Frederick P. Cruz and Ronald U Mendoza: The possibility of a showdown between Hillary Clinton and Jeb Bush in the US Presidential polls may have some political pundits salivating, but perhaps many more Americans wondering. Is political power becoming too concentrated ...


September 1, 2015, 2:04 am, 1537076

From the FT:

The likes of Zambia, Ethiopia, Rwanda, Kenya, Ghana, Senegal, and Ivory Coast have all issued foreign currency dominated sovereign bonds in recent years.

Ghana is one African nation with a history of debt crises (pdf), and also dating back to the 1980s (pdf).  ...


September 1, 2015, 2:04 am, 1537075

In 2012, 5.9 million unauthorized immigrants from Mexico lived in the U.S., down about 1 million from 2007. Despite the drop, Mexicans still make up a slight majority (52% in 2012) of unauthorized immigrants. At the same time, unauthorized immigration overall has leveled off in recent years. As a ...


September 1, 2015, 1:33 am, 1537074
It's no wonder Greek prime minister Alexis Tsipras wanted elections now rather than later. He does not want the grim news of job losses and austerity to hit when he is more vulnerable.

Tsipras' problem may well be that he is too late.

Via translation from Libre Mercado, ...


August 31, 2015, 11:33 pm, 1537047

What is the difference between:

A. I print $100, and give it to you as an interest-free loan.

B. I print $100, lend it to you at 5% interest, so you give me $5 per year, and then I give that $5 per year straight back to you.

C. I print $100, lend ...


August 31, 2015, 10:04 pm, 1537014
(September 1, 2015 12:08 AM, by Bryan Caplan) Whenever a new semester begins, I thank the universe for good students. Good students have four key traits:First, good students genuinely want to learn. They don't study material merely because they see it on the syllabus or expect it on... (1 ...


August 31, 2015, 9:03 pm, 1536988
From Tim Duy: Does 25bp Make A Difference?

Bottom Line: I am coming around to the belief that the timing of the first rate hike is more important than Fed officials would like us to believe. The lack of consensus regarding the timing of the first hike tells me ...


August 31, 2015, 8:04 pm, 1536986
(August 31, 2015 06:31 PM, by Scott Sumner) Tyler Cowen has a new blog post that has 13 observations on the Fed's upcoming policy decisions. Most are reasonable, especially the first comment. But I strongly disagree with point 6: 6. Now the risks look fairly symmetric. The first... (0 COMMENTS)


August 31, 2015, 8:04 pm, 1536985
(Don Boudreaux)

is from a recent Facebook post by Mario Rizzo; Mario is here discussing the people fleeing war-torn ...


August 31, 2015, 7:03 pm, 1536941

Each year we produce the State Business Tax Climate Index, which promotes tax competition between the states and motivates policymakers to reform their tax systems toward pro-growth policies. Over the past few years, the Index has prompted meaningful tax reforms in states such as North Carolina, New York, ...


August 31, 2015, 7:03 pm, 1536940
Fannie Mae reported today that the Single-Family Serious Delinquency rate declined in July to 1.63% from 1.66% in June. The serious delinquency rate is down from 2.00% in July 2014, and this is the lowest level since August 2008.

The Fannie Mae serious delinquency rate peaked in ...


August 31, 2015, 6:44 pm, 1536939

This ruling, handed down today by the Second Circuit, may spell the end of ...


August 31, 2015, 6:34 pm, 1536938
Teaser:

If ...


August 31, 2015, 6:04 pm, 1536935
(Don Boudreaux)

Here’s a letter to the Washington Times:

Peter Morici claims that “The U.S. economy won’t be much hurt by China’s ...


August 31, 2015, 6:04 pm, 1536934
Resident Scholar Norman Ornstein discusses the 2016 presidential race on MSNBC Live.


August 31, 2015, 5:33 pm, 1536932
Witch Hunt Review

As I noted earlier today China Starts Witch Hunt for Those Obstructing Government Efforts to Prop Up Stocks.

Public Confession

It took less than a day for the a victim of the witch hunt to be rounded up for public display. The ...


August 31, 2015, 5:23 pm, 1536931

Nancy Folbre, who recently joined the Levy Institute roster as senior scholar, was interviewed by Dollars & Sense on the topic of how conventional economics and policymaking deal with (or rather, fail to deal with) household and caring labor:

D&S: What is the practical consequence of not measuring household labor and production? ...


August 31, 2015, 4:04 pm, 1536866

Kevin Hassett of the American Enterprise Institute talks about uncertainty in the market and how the Fed may be responsible on Fox Business Networks’ ‘Varney & Co.’


August 31, 2015, 4:04 pm, 1536868

Please join AEI on Tuesday, September 8th at 9:00am to welcome former vice president Richard B. Cheney for a major address concerning the deal’s consequences for the security and interests of the United States and its allies in the Middle East. Details here.

There was a time, not so long ago, ...


August 31, 2015, 4:04 pm, 1536867

Is this true, I wonder? From the Wonkblog reporter Matt O’Brien:

A few thoughts:

1.) Some policies Donald Trump is talking about are clearly contrary to what most Republicans think of as “supply-side economics.” Raising trade barriers and investment taxes are two that most ...


August 31, 2015, 3:33 pm, 1536863
The Chicago PMI reading came in just shy of the Bloomberg Econoday Estimate of 54.9.

The headline for August looks solid, at 54.4 for the Chicago PMI, but the details look weak. New orders and production both slowed and order backlogs fell into deeper contraction. Employment contracted ...


August 31, 2015, 3:23 pm, 1536862

A Nonbehavioral Theory of Saving
Michalis Nikiforos

“We present a model where the saving rate of the household sector, especially households at the bottom of the income distribution, becomes the endogenous variable that adjusts in order for full employment to be maintained over time. An increase in income inequality and ...


August 31, 2015, 3:23 pm, 1536860

In recent months, the Chinese stock market has been very volatile, with sharp drops in prices since last July. On August 24th, share prices fell 9% – one of the biggest single day falls. People fear this is the bursting of the Chinese stock market bubble which could have serious ...


August 31, 2015, 3:23 pm, 1536861

Movements in the stock market can have a profound economic impact on the economy and everyday people. A collapse in share prices has the potential to cause widespread economic disruption. Most famously, the stock market crash of 1929 was a key factor in causing the great depression of ...


August 31, 2015, 3:03 pm, 1536799
Olivier Blanchard, who is soon to leave his post as the IMF’s chief economist. ERIC PIERMONT/AFP/GETTY IMAGES

Olivier Blanchard began his tenure as the International Monetary Fund’s ...


August 31, 2015, 3:03 pm, 1536798
Here is a minor indicator I follow from the National Restaurant Association: Stronger sales, traffic in July boost RPI

Driven by stronger same-store sales and customer traffic levels, the National Restaurant Association’s Restaurant Performance Index (RPI) posted a solid gain in July.

The RPI stood at 102.7 ...


August 31, 2015, 2:44 pm, 1536797
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August 31, 2015, 2:04 pm, 1536794

This is quite long, so it goes under the fold…class starts tomorrow night!

Books: Jacob Viner, Studies in the Theory of International Trade (on-line, optional).

All videos can be found on MRUniversity.com, if not in the international trade section than in the development economics class or a few on Mexico in the ...


August 31, 2015, 2:04 pm, 1536795

August 31, 2015, 2:04 pm, 1536793
(Don Boudreaux)

Robert Doar is right: family structure matters.  Here’s his conclusion:

But until all participants in the debate recognize the overwhelming importance of ...


August 31, 2015, 2:04 pm, 1536792

1. Chart of the Day I (above). As a result of revolutionary drilling technologies that have dramatically increased domestic production of shale oil and shale gas, America produced 89% of the domestic energy consumed this year (through May), which is the highest level ...


August 31, 2015, 1:33 pm, 1536790
Repeat after me "housing and cars and part time jobs, oh my". There's little else worth cheering about, not even the stock market lately. And housing is not all that strong either.

Today, the Dallas Fed reported that activity in its region plunged to a reading of reading of ...


August 31, 2015, 1:33 pm, 1536789

1. Chart of the Day I (above). As a result of revolutionary drilling technologies that have dramatically increased domestic production of shale oil and shale gas, America produced 89% of the domestic energy consumed this year (through May), which is the highest level ...


August 31, 2015, 1:03 pm, 1536728

When the Connecticut legislature passed a budget increasing the burden of the state’s already high corporate taxes earlier this year, major employers like General Electric initiated a very public search for a new home. Taxes are but one of many factors companies weigh while making location decisions—a state like ...


August 31, 2015, 1:03 pm, 1536727

Tim Duy:

Does 25bp Make A Difference?, by Tim Duy: I am often asked if 25bp really makes any difference? If not, why does it matter when the Fed makes its first move? The Fed would like you to believe that 25bp really isn't all that important. Indeed, they ...


August 31, 2015, 1:03 pm, 1536726

"Those predicting Mr. Trump’s imminent political demise are ignoring the lessons of recent history":

A Heckuva Job, by Paul Krugman, Commentary, NY Times: ...Katrina was special in political terms because it revealed such a huge gap between image and reality. Ever since 9/11, former President George W. Bush had ...


August 31, 2015, 12:44 pm, 1536725
After a week of market upheaval and speculation about whether the Federal Reserve will raise rates, WSJ chief economics correspondent Jon Hilsenrath discusses three takeaways from the Fed’s annual meeting in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. ...


August 31, 2015, 12:44 pm, 1536724

Clinton. Bush. Kennedy. Political family dynasties have survived the establishment of democracies in the developed and developing world and, in some cases, are strengthening. This column argues that political dynasties are still with us, and that it’s fairly easy to see why. Whoever said that elections are the only time ...


August 31, 2015, 12:44 pm, 1536723
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August 31, 2015, 12:44 pm, 1536722
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August 31, 2015, 12:44 pm, 1536721
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August 31, 2015, 12:44 pm, 1536720
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August 31, 2015, 12:34 pm, 1536719
Teaser:

It ...


August 31, 2015, 12:04 pm, 1536718
Fellow Marc Thiessen discusses Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump's immigration proposals on Fox News' 'The Kelly File'


August 31, 2015, 12:04 pm, 1536717
AEI's Visiting Fellow of Society and Culture, Ramesh Ponnuru, offers insight into Donald Trump's conservative principals -- or lack thereof -- and what the candidate's flip-flopping could mean going forward.


August 31, 2015, 12:04 pm, 1536716
Fellow Marc Thiessen discusses the Clinton email controversy and Donald Trump's recent attacks on Clinton aide on Fox News' 'America's Newsroom.'


August 31, 2015, 12:04 pm, 1536715

In their quest for quick returns, activists make the mistake of forgetting that it takes time and patience to position any company for success.

A sea change is under way in the governance of America’s public companies. Today, we are witnessing a dramatic increase in attacks by activist investors demanding immediate ...


August 31, 2015, 11:33 am, 1536714

…. is from Frederic Jesup Stimson‘s 1910 book “Popular Law-Making: A Study of the Origin, History, and Present Tendencies of Law-Making By Statute” (emphasis added):

And now we find the first statutory origin of that utterly fallacious principle — although alive today — that the state, in ...


August 31, 2015, 11:03 am, 1536675
Chicago PMI: August Chicago Business Barometer Down 0.3 Point to 54.4

The Chicago Business Barometer held on to most of July’s gain, falling just a fraction to 54.4 in Augustfrom 54.7 in July. While below the highs seen towards the end of last year, it’s still consistent with ...


August 31, 2015, 11:03 am, 1536674
From the Dallas Fed: Texas Manufacturing Activity Holds Steady, but Outlooks Deteriorate

Texas factory activity was essentially flat in August, according to business executives responding to the Texas Manufacturing Outlook Survey. The production index, a key measure of state manufacturing conditions, climbed to near zero (-0.8), suggesting output ...


August 31, 2015, 10:44 am, 1536673
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August 31, 2015, 10:44 am, 1536672
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August 31, 2015, 10:44 am, 1536670
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August 31, 2015, 10:44 am, 1536671
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August 31, 2015, 10:34 am, 1536669
The ISM Manufacturing Index is expected to tick higher to 53.0 in tomorrow’s update for August vs. the previous month, based on The Capital Spectator’s average point forecast for several econometric estimates. The prediction is moderately above the neutral 50.0 mark and so the current outlook still translates into a ...


August 31, 2015, 10:34 am, 1536668
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August 31, 2015, 10:04 am, 1536664
(Don Boudreaux)

As Bryan Caplan notes over at EconLog, today is the first day of the 2015-2016 academic year at George ...


August 31, 2015, 10:04 am, 1536663
Brad DeLong Friday morning: I cannot help but note strong divergence between the near-consensus views of Fed Chair Janet [Yellen]‘s and Fed Vice-Chair Stan [Fischer]‘s still-academic colleagues and students that tightening now is grossly premature, financial markets’ agreement with the hippies as evidenced by the ten-year breakeven, commercial-banker and wingnut ...


August 31, 2015, 10:04 am, 1536662

Donald Trump is not high on my list of people who ought to be the president of the United States. I would prefer a candidate who has a track record of conservatism. Who supports free trade. Who has served in elective office. Who can keep his petty resentments below the ...


August 31, 2015, 9:33 am, 1536659

August 31, 2015, 9:03 am, 1536606
Danny Vinik in Politico's Agenda today:

Pork hasn't been "the other white meat" for years—after a 24-year run as the centerpiece of billboards and the butt of jokes, the slogan was retired in 2011 and replaced with "Pork: Be Inspired," a logo you might have seen on the ...


August 31, 2015, 8:34 am, 1536605
Fed Vice Chairman Stanley Fischer over the weekend laid out the rationale for raising US interest rates in the near future, perhaps as early as next month. His reasoning boils down to two main arguments. One, “the economy has continued to recover and the labor market is approaching our maximum ...


August 31, 2015, 8:04 am, 1536604

Gross domestic product in Macau, China’s semi-autonomous gambling haven, fell by more than a quarter in the three months to June as the junket-fuelled growth model comes under attack from Beijing.

The economy contracted by a whopping 26.4 per cent in the second quarter, following declines of 24.5 per cent in ...


August 31, 2015, 8:04 am, 1536602

Here’s one bit from an excellent interview of Paul Romer on urban development:

Q. How are economics and planning and development of cities related each other?

Urban Expansion is an exception to the usual rule that an economy does not need a plan. Creating new built urban area requires a plan for the ...


August 31, 2015, 8:04 am, 1536603

In just 4 years, over half of Syria’s population of 22m has been killed, displaced or fled the country.

Tweet here, by Paul Kirby.


August 31, 2015, 8:04 am, 1536601
(Don Boudreaux)

… is from pages 144-145 of the late Shirley Robin Letwin’s 1976 Hillsdale College address, “The Morality of the Free ...


August 31, 2015, 7:33 am, 1536599
MathJax.Hub.Config({ TeX: { equationNumbers: { autoNumber: "AMS" } } }); (Note: This post uses mathjax to display equations and has several graphs. I've noticed that the blog gets picked up here and there and mangled along the way. If you can't read it or see the ...


August 31, 2015, 7:33 am, 1536598

Words to remember:

As theNation‘s article notes, “Most ordinary people behave remarkably well when their city is ripped apart by disaster. They did in San Francisco after the 1906 earthquake; in New Orleans during Hurricane Betsy in 1965; in Mexico City after the 1985 earthquake; in New ...


August 31, 2015, 7:33 am, 1536597

Arnold Kling, with yet another terrific post. This one is on "the analytical gap between the theory of market failure and actual policy". His example is housing policy:

From the standpoint of the theory of market failure, the subsidize-demand, restrict-supply pattern almost never makes sense. If there ...


August 31, 2015, 7:33 am, 1536596

"What recent research says about fraud, errors, and other dismaying academic problems."

Related: "Science Isn’t Broken: It’s just a hell of a lot harder than we give it credit for". Includes a very clever simulation exercise, "Hack Your Way to Scientific Glory".

Also related: "Many Psychology Findings ...


August 31, 2015, 7:33 am, 1536595

Kyle Smith, reviewing Ronald Bailey's new book,The End of Doom: Environmental Renewal in the Twenty-first Century:

Environmentalist groups are, of course, in the same business as the folks who brought you the “Saw” movies. Their fundraising depends on it, and the media rarely go ...


August 31, 2015, 7:33 am, 1536594

Milo Yiannopoulos, doing his thing:

So perhaps there is, in this case, some justification for a bit of middle-class discomfort, particularly when you consider howbizarre and inconsistent and dysfunctional the city of San Francisco is: it’s a placethat turns a blind eye to illegal immigrants, ...


August 31, 2015, 7:33 am, 1536593
Tobias Adrian, Richard Crump, Peter Diamond, and Rui Yu



Expectations about the path of interest rates matter for many economic decisions. Three sources for obtaining information about such expectations are ...


August 31, 2015, 6:44 am, 1536531
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August 31, 2015, 6:44 am, 1536530

Are human beings naturally cooperative or selfish? Can people thrive without government law? Paul Robinson of the University of Pennsylvania and author of Pirates, Prisoners and Lepers talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts the ideas in his book. Robinson ...


August 31, 2015, 6:34 am, 1536529
● US personal income & spending rise in July ● US consumer sentiment slips to 3-month low in August ● A Fed rate hike in September? Maybe, says Fed Vice Chairman Fischer ● Eurozone flash estimate of annual inflation in Aug: stable but close to flat at 0.2% ● German ...


August 31, 2015, 5:33 am, 1536526

It sure looks that way. Advice on salt, dietary cholesterol, and, now, saturated fat appear to have been seriously wrong.


August 31, 2015, 5:33 am, 1536525

Glenn Reynolds offers a compact and very discouraging review.

As late as 2010, things were going so well in Iraq thatObama and Biden were bragging.Now, after Obama’s politically-motivated pullout and disengagement, the whole thing’s fallen apart. This is near-criminal neglect and incompetence, and an awful lot ...


August 31, 2015, 5:03 am, 1536494

From time to time, we'll conclude our more remarkable posts with the phrase "Welcome back to the cutting edge!" We're going to do that again today.

The reason we'll do that today is because of a new paper that was published just 20 ...


August 31, 2015, 4:04 am, 1536493
(August 31, 2015 02:18 AM, by David Henderson) I spent part of Sunday catching up on Wall Street Journals that had piled up when I was at my cottage in Canada. Some highlights, in chronological order. 1. "ObamaCare Undercover," August 1-2, 2015 (July 31 on-line). Highlight: Last year... (0 COMMENTS)


August 31, 2015, 3:03 am, 1536470

This is a summary of new research from two of our former graduate students here at the University of Oregon, Harold Cuffe and Chris Gibbs (link to full paper):

The effect of payday lending restrictions on liquor sales – Synopsis, by Harold Cuffe and Chris Gibbs: The practice of short-term ...


August 31, 2015, 2:04 am, 1536468

Remember back in 2009, and a bit thereafter (pdf), when so many people were praising China’s very activist, multi-trillion fiscal stimulus?

Yet some of us at the time insisted this would only push off and deepen China’s adjustment problems.  There was already excess capacity and ...


August 31, 2015, 1:33 am, 1536467
In China, a massive witch hunt is underway.

Beijing regulators now seek individuals who have destabilized the markets and spread rumors.

Official want someone to blame after their Large-Scale Share Purchases failed to halt a huge stock market slide.

China’s government has decided to abandon attempts ...