Economics Roundtable

Database Maintenance 7/4/15

Routine database maintenance will induce some duplicated items for the next day or two.


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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July 28, 2015, 8:44 am, 1516838
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July 28, 2015, 8:44 am, 1516837
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July 28, 2015, 8:44 am, 1516836
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July 28, 2015, 8:44 am, 1516835
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July 28, 2015, 8:34 am, 1516834

An unsigned American Interest article titled “Red States Eat Blue States’ Lunch” reports,

The West and the South—not California or the Northeast—are apparently the places to move these days. In ...


July 28, 2015, 8:04 am, 1516833

From the report of the President of the university, Raj Chetty and Matt Gentzkow will be starting at the school this fall.

And John Cochrane is moving to Hoover full-time.

In the late 1970s and 80s, MIT was undoubtedly number one as a place to study economics, even if Chicago ...


July 28, 2015, 8:04 am, 1516832
(Don Boudreaux)

… is from page 3 of Eric Hoffer’s 1979 volume, Before the Sabbath:

One of the surprising privileges of intellectuals ...


July 28, 2015, 7:33 am, 1516829

Yet another reason to get your sleep: lack of sleep may foster Alzheimer's.


July 28, 2015, 7:33 am, 1516828

Interesting argument. My guideline is that societies should be very careful when "fixing" long-established, widely-accepted institutions.


July 28, 2015, 7:33 am, 1516827

"I, Pencil" reprised.

Nutella is a stirring example ofglobalizationandspontaneous orderin action.


July 28, 2015, 7:33 am, 1516826

Neal B. Freeman:

In Washington, and marbled throughout its pricy suburbs, there’s income inequality of a different sort. The richest counties in the country — Fairfax, Montgomery, Loudon, and the rest — are now clustered in the metro Washington area. They’re rich not because D.C. has just ...


July 28, 2015, 7:03 am, 1516775

The U.K. government Tuesday named Gertjan Vlieghe, an economist at Brevan Howard Asset Management, to sit on the Bank of England’s Monetary Policy Committee.
From Sept. 1, Mr. Vlieghe will serve a three-year term as one of four members of the nine-person committee who aren’t full-time officers of the BOE, ...


July 28, 2015, 7:03 am, 1516774
The Federal Reserve will issue a new policy statement Wednesday at 2 p.m. EDT. Here are five things to watch.


July 28, 2015, 6:44 am, 1516773
Tuesday, the reformicons are launching part two of their attack on political orthodoxy, with the release of the first three of 19 new policy essays, which deal with higher education, the environment and entrepreneurship. ...


July 28, 2015, 6:44 am, 1516772
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July 28, 2015, 6:04 am, 1516771

President Obama promised that his nuclear deal with Iran would not be “based on trust” but rather “unprecedented verification.” Now it turns out Obama’s verification regime is based on trust after all — trust in two secret side agreements negotiated exclusively between Iran and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) ...


July 28, 2015, 5:33 am, 1516768

In this piece Eric Nolte, an "airline captain for a major carrier," makes twofine points. Here's one:

When the waves closed over the watery graves of Kennedy, his wife, and sister-in-law, calls began to arise for greater regulation of private pilots. But there were already plenty of ...


July 28, 2015, 5:23 am, 1516767

Photo Credit: Kat N.L.M.

This morning, I looked at the fall in the Chinese stock market, and I said to myself, “It’s been a long journey since the last crash.” After that, I wrote a brief piece ...


July 28, 2015, 5:03 am, 1516725
A sale pending sign in front of a home on Wednesday in San Anselmo, Calif. Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Home prices are at all-time high, but buyers may ...


July 28, 2015, 5:03 am, 1516726
University of Texas at Austin

President Barack Obama will appoint Sandra Black, professor of economics at the University of Texas at Austin, to join the three-member White House Council ...


July 28, 2015, 5:03 am, 1516724

The Wall Street Journal’s Daily Report on Global Central Banks for Friday, July 24, 2015:

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


Ask WSJ Central Banks: Dear readers, we are launching a new feature in response to your many questions. Please email your queries about the Fed, other central banks or broader economic topics ...


July 28, 2015, 5:03 am, 1516729

The Wall Street Journal’s Daily Report on Global Central Banks for Thursday, July 23, 2015:

Ask WSJ Central Banks: Dear readers, we are launching a new feature in response to your many questions. Please email your queries about the Fed, other central banks or broader economic topics to this address and we ...


July 28, 2015, 5:03 am, 1516728
Franchise owner Rahim Khandoker works along side employees at Mooyah Burgers, Fries & Shakes restaurant in Arlington, Texas this month. Mooyah executives have said they may change its employee ...


July 28, 2015, 5:03 am, 1516727

After more than two decades trying, Mexico can finally declare victory over inflation.

Annual inflation in Mexico eased to 2.76% in early July, its lowest level since 1970, when consumer prices began to be measured nationally. It’s also below the Bank of Mexico’s 3% target for a third consecutive month.

As some ...


July 28, 2015, 5:03 am, 1516723
Fast food workers and community activists protest outside a McDonald’s restaurant in Chicago in June. The protesters were advocating for a $15 an hour minimum wage.


July 28, 2015, 5:03 am, 1516718
Women are more likely to hold part-time jobs: 24 percent of working women had part-time jobs in 2013, compared with 13 percent of men, according to the Labor Department. Bonnie Altwerger sits ...


July 28, 2015, 5:03 am, 1516719
European Union flags wave in front of the headquarters of the European Central Bank in Frankfurt, Germany. Associated Press

A recent ECB publication suggests that underlying inflation ...


July 28, 2015, 5:03 am, 1516720

The Wall Street Journal’s Daily Report on Global Central Banks for Monday, July 27, 2015:

Ask WSJ Central Banks: Dear readers, we are launching a new feature in response to your many questions. Please email your queries about the Fed, other central banks or broader economic topics to this address and we ...


July 28, 2015, 5:03 am, 1516721
Fed Chairwoman Janet Yellen testifies at a Senate hearing on July 16. Ron Sachs/Zuma Press

Federal Reserve staffers in June were somewhat more pessimistic than central ...


July 28, 2015, 5:03 am, 1516722
The Federal Reserve’s policy meeting will highlight the week, though economists don’t expect any move on interest rates. We also get a first peek at second-quarter gross domestic product and employment costs, key data points as Fed officials weigh their first rate increase since 2006.


July 28, 2015, 5:03 am, 1516717

Today, we're going to do some quick, back-of-the-envelope style economics to answer the question of whether the supply or the demand for new homes is what is behind the recent falling trend for their prices. First, let's visually establish that yes, both average and median ...


July 28, 2015, 4:04 am, 1516716

Everyone wants to find a version of history under which all the problems of the Eurozone are Germany’s fault, because everyone knows that all the solutions involve Germany paying. But it’s not really true; Germany spent the early years of ERM/EMU paying far more than anyone else was prepared to ...


July 28, 2015, 3:03 am, 1516676

Cecchetti & Schoenholtz:

Are we overestimating inflation (again?): Twenty years ago, a group of experts – the “Boskin Commission” – concluded that the U.S. consumer price index (CPI) systematically overstated inflation by 0.8 to 1.6 percentage points each year. Taking these findings to heart, ...


July 28, 2015, 3:03 am, 1516677

July 28, 2015, 3:03 am, 1516675

This is from the NBER (Project Syndicate, are you listening?):

Content Aggregation by Platforms: The Case of the News Media, by Lesley Chiou and Catherine Tucker, NBER Working Paper No. 21404, July 2015: ... In recent years, the digitization of content has led to the prominence of platforms as aggregators ...


July 28, 2015, 3:03 am, 1516674

Simon Wren-Lewis on whether "central bankers need to keep quiet about policy matters that are not within their remit":

Should central bankers stick to talking about monetary policy?: Few disagree that the recent remarks on corporate governance and investment made by Andy Haldane (Chief Economist at the ...


July 28, 2015, 3:03 am, 1516673

This headline “US Recession Imminent – Durable Goods Drop For 5th Month, Core CapEx Collapses”, following on “Forget Recession: According To Caterpillar There Is A Full-Blown Global Depression”, impelled me to check to see if I’d missed something.

Term Spreads

The first thing that I wanted to inspect ...


July 28, 2015, 2:04 am, 1516672

Here is yet another NBER Working Paper to shout from the rooftops:

How are optimal taxes affected by the presence of superstar phenomena at the top of the earnings distribution? To answer this question, we extend the Mirrlees model to incorporate an assignment problem in the labor market that ...


July 28, 2015, 2:04 am, 1516671
(July 28, 2015 12:27 AM, by Bryan Caplan) Heaney and Rojas close Party in the Street by comparing the antiwar movement to the Tea Party and Occupy Wall Street. This naturally required even more original data collection. What they found:[T]he antiwar-Democratic relationship is an intermediate case among these... (0 COMMENTS)


July 28, 2015, 1:03 am, 1516631

From WaPo:

“Wisconsin’s doing terribly. It’s in turmoil. The roads are a disaster because they don’t have any money to rebuild them. They’re borrowing money like crazy. They projected a $1 billion surplus, and it turns out to be a deficit of $2.2 billion. The schools are a disaster. The ...


July 27, 2015, 10:44 pm, 1516610

Every day, we are all exposed to all sorts of emotive and exhilarating media entertainment. But what, if any, are the measurable impacts? Are newspapers and periodicals, for instance, more important than soap operas? This column introduces a survey of the wide-ranging literature from the Handbook of Media Economics, presenting ...


July 27, 2015, 10:44 pm, 1516609

In recent decades, there has been an accelerated increase in top income inequality, particularly in developed countries. This column argues that innovation partly accounts for the surge in top income inequality and fosters social mobility. In particular, the positive effect of innovation on social mobility is due to new innovators.


July 27, 2015, 10:44 pm, 1516608
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July 27, 2015, 9:03 pm, 1516567
Tuesday:
• At 9:00 AM ET, the S&P/Case-Shiller House Price Index for May. Although this is the May report, it is really a 3 month average of March, April and May prices. The consensus is for a 5.6% year-over-year increase in the Comp 20 index for April. The Zillow ...


July 27, 2015, 8:04 pm, 1516566

Let’s compare and contrast two viewpoints on Uber and see what that tells us about one’s trust of market forces vs. trust of government force.

1. From Steve Horwitz’s article in The Freeman “Uber Solves the Fundamental Problem of the Marketplace (Or, Turning Strangers into ‘Honorary Kin’)“:

As an economic innovation, ...


July 27, 2015, 7:33 pm, 1516564
Ilovethis quote (with my amendments for economists) from the NY Times article about Terrence Tao.

The true work of the mathematicianeconomist is not experienced until the later parts ...


July 27, 2015, 7:33 pm, 1516563
At long last, the stench from Chicago is so strong that Fitch can finally smell it. Fitch just now downgraded Chicago Board of Education General Obligation bonds to junk status.

Fitch and the S&P were holdouts because there's money to be made by purposely pretending a manure factory is ...


July 27, 2015, 7:33 pm, 1516562

Let’s compare and contrast two viewpoints on Uber and see what that tells us about one’s trust of market forces vs. trust of government force.

1. From Steve Horwitz’s article in The Freeman “Uber Solves the Fundamental Problem of the Marketplace (Or, Turning Strangers into ‘Honorary Kin’)“:

As an economic innovation, ...


July 27, 2015, 7:03 pm, 1516512

After a year of parliamentary debates the French Parliament adopted an Energy Transition for Green Growth plan on Wednesday the 22nd of July. As part of this plan the carbon tax will almost quadruple for the current rate of €14.5/tCO2 to €56 by 2020 and increase to ...


July 27, 2015, 6:44 pm, 1516511
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July 27, 2015, 6:04 pm, 1516507

It depends on the Communist Party.

Of course you are free to leave alternative nominations in the comments.


July 27, 2015, 6:04 pm, 1516506
(July 27, 2015 04:18 PM, by Scott Sumner) Pat Buchanan used to complain about imports from Asian and Hispanic economies, but was strangely silent about our large trade deficits with mostly white northern Europe. Donald Trump makes similar complaints. Now Kevin Williamson says that Bernie Sanders likes to... (3 COMMENTS)


July 27, 2015, 6:03 pm, 1516505

Many commentators across the political spectrum write about the importance of jobs as a path out of poverty. I often cite the statistic that only 3.2% of families with at least one full-time, year-round worker are poor. Others identify job creation and wage growth as key efforts to ...


July 27, 2015, 5:33 pm, 1516503
The Atlanta Fed second quarter GDPNow final estimate came it at 2.4%.



The second quarter GDP official "advance" estimate from the BEA is due out Thursday, July 30 along with the annual revision of the National Income ...


July 27, 2015, 5:33 pm, 1516502
Climate scientists continue to warn us that flood risk in coastal areas is increasing because of sea level rise. How do we adapt to this anticipated but vague threat? The threat is vague because we don't know when and how severe and where will any specific flood occur. We ...


July 27, 2015, 5:03 pm, 1516441
Women are more likely to hold part-time jobs: 24 percent of working women had part-time jobs in 2013, compared with 13 percent of men, according to the Labor Department. Bonnie Altwerger sits ...


July 27, 2015, 5:03 pm, 1516440
The automakers will report July vehicle sales on Monday, August 3rd. Sales in June were at 17.1 million on a seasonally adjusted annual rate basis (SAAR), and it appears sales in July will be over 17 million SAAR again.

Note: There were 26 selling days in July, ...


July 27, 2015, 4:44 pm, 1516438
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July 27, 2015, 4:44 pm, 1516439
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July 27, 2015, 4:04 pm, 1516428
(Don Boudreaux)

Aaron the Aaron writes back:

Your complaint fails about scholars who find monopsony power not starting their own firms [to take ...


July 27, 2015, 4:04 pm, 1516427

President Obama called Russia a “regional power” with the obvious implication that the US should not worry about it too much. He has praised Russia for its “help” in negotiating with Iran. Secretary of State John Kerry, too, has held up Russia’s cooperation on Syria as an ...


July 27, 2015, 4:04 pm, 1516425

This article appears in the August 10, 2015 issue of National Review.

As the presidential-election season kicks off, governors from all over America are seeking the Republican nomination. Historically, voters in presidential elections have tended to favor the executive experience of governors, and it seems more likely than not that the ...


July 27, 2015, 4:04 pm, 1516426

Conservatives have much to criticize in President Obama’s deal with Iran on its nuclear program. The agreement allows Iran to operate sophisticated nuclear equipment, keep its suspected weapons labs open, and maintain stockpiles of nuclear material with ample opportunity to manipulate international inspectors. Washington and its allies must lift crippling ...


July 27, 2015, 4:04 pm, 1516423

The Economist has blow-out piece on Silicon Valley, with some really marvelous charts. I know what the data say — and this is just one sector — but it doesn’t feel like a Great Stagnation. It certainly would seem to be a sector ...


July 27, 2015, 4:04 pm, 1516424

AEI recently had the privilege to hear from a key contributor to the Elementary and Secondary Education Act rewrite – Senator Lamar Alexander (R-TN), Chairman of the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee – about his next project, higher education reform.


July 27, 2015, 3:33 pm, 1516418
Nearly 1,800 stocks, over 60% of issues traded on the Shanghai and Shenzhen stock exchanges fell by the daily limit of 10% and were halted according to a Financial Times report.

When contacted by the Financial Times, the China Securities Regulatory Commission refused to answer any questions. ...


July 27, 2015, 3:03 pm, 1516357
Here is an indicator that I follow on trucking, from the ATA: ATA Truck Tonnage Index Fell 0.5% in June

American Trucking Associations’ advanced seasonally adjusted For-Hire Truck Tonnage Index decreased 0.5% in June, following a revised gain of 0.8% during May. In June, the index equaled 131.1 (2000=100). ...


July 27, 2015, 2:44 pm, 1516356
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July 27, 2015, 2:44 pm, 1516355
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July 27, 2015, 2:44 pm, 1516354
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July 27, 2015, 2:44 pm, 1516352
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July 27, 2015, 2:04 pm, 1516349

1. How bad were the Black Panthers?

2. Spending a night in the robot-staffed hotel.

3. The Chinese stock market crash is worse than you think.

4. New Yorker profile of Varoufakis.  Interesting throughout, covers Obama too, not just the usual even if this seems ...


July 27, 2015, 2:04 pm, 1516347


July 27, 2015, 2:04 pm, 1516348

Thank you for the opportunity to comment on the House Ways and Means discussion draft to reauthorize the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program. This statement represents our personal views and is based on our combined experience administering and now studying welfare programs in the United States. Collectively, we ...


July 27, 2015, 2:04 pm, 1516346

Watch the latest video at video.foxnews.com


July 27, 2015, 2:04 pm, 1516344

Hillary Clinton can’t keep her story straight. I’m not talking about her e-mail servers. She can’t stick to a consistent line on the rather more central issue of the U.S. economy. It is leading to odd tonal shifts in her campaign, and to some foolish policy choices, too.

It’s not entirely ...


July 27, 2015, 2:04 pm, 1516343

One reason I really like the idea of expanded wage subsidies over an expanded minimum wage is that the former is the lower risk way to help low-income workers. More evidence of that in a New York Times pieces: “Raising Floor for Minimum ...


July 27, 2015, 2:04 pm, 1516345

A map of China is seen through a magnifying glass on a computer screen showing binary digits. REUTERS/Edgar Su

The Obama administration ...


July 27, 2015, 1:33 pm, 1516339
Michael Ben-Gad has a smashing review, "Into the Labyrinth", of Yanis Varoufakis' The Global Minotaur(Disclaimer: I have not read it and don't intend to.) It's a great piece of ...


July 27, 2015, 12:44 pm, 1516253
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July 27, 2015, 12:44 pm, 1516251
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July 27, 2015, 12:44 pm, 1516252
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July 27, 2015, 12:34 pm, 1516250
Teaser:


July 27, 2015, 12:04 pm, 1516248
(July 27, 2015 09:40 AM, by Bryan Caplan) If aspiring econ Ph.D.s are going to read one article about their prospects for academic success, Stock, Siegfried, and Finegan's "Completion Rates and Time-to-Degree in Economics PhD Programs" (American Economic Review, 2011) is probably the single best piece to read.... (1 COMMENTS)


July 27, 2015, 12:04 pm, 1516247

July 27, 2015, 12:04 pm, 1516245

With the Middle East in chaos, it is understandable that few in Washington have time for the Western Sahara. After all, Syria has become the world’s largest generator of refugees. Iraq continues to teeter on the brink of chaos, and both Yemen and Libya are mired in civil ...


July 27, 2015, 12:04 pm, 1516246

Mathur proposes two modifications to the tax code to allow families to supplement income during family leave. She suggests allowing workers to claim child-related tax credits when they go on family leave rather than when they file their tax returns. She also suggests making the child and dependent care credit refundable.

The ...


July 27, 2015, 12:04 pm, 1516244


July 27, 2015, 11:03 am, 1516182

The Wall Street Journal’s Daily Report on Global Central Banks for Monday, July 27, 2015:

Ask WSJ Central Banks: Dear readers, we are launching a new feature in response to your many questions. Please email your queries about the Fed, other central banks or broader economic topics to this address and we ...


July 27, 2015, 11:03 am, 1516181
European Union flags wave in front of the headquarters of the European Central Bank in Frankfurt, Germany. Associated Press

A recent ECB publication suggests that underlying inflation ...


July 27, 2015, 11:03 am, 1516180
Note: I follow several house price indexes (Case-Shiller, CoreLogic, Black Knight, Zillow, FHFA, FNC and more). Note: Black Knight uses the current month closings only (not a three month average like Case-Shiller or a weighted average like CoreLogic), excludes short sales and REOs, and is not seasonally adjusted.

From ...


July 27, 2015, 11:03 am, 1516179
From the Dallas Fed: Texas Manufacturing Slump Moderates, Outlooks Improve

Texas factory activity declined slightly in July, according to business executives responding to the Texas Manufacturing Outlook Survey. The production index, a key measure of state manufacturing conditions, remained negative but rose for a second month in a ...


July 27, 2015, 10:44 am, 1516178
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July 27, 2015, 10:44 am, 1516176
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July 27, 2015, 10:44 am, 1516177
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July 27, 2015, 10:34 am, 1516175

Talking about the "glass floor" which limits social mobility, Alan Milburn says:

It’s a social scandal that all too often demography is still destiny.

This is true in a far bigger way than Mr Milburn means. There's a policy which suppresses social ...


July 27, 2015, 10:04 am, 1516170

A Turkish Air Force A400M tactical transport aircraft is parked at Incirlik airbase in ...


July 27, 2015, 10:04 am, 1516169

In his recent book, “The Conservative Heart,” AEI President Arthur C. Brooks draws attention to the dignity of all work. Pointing out the contrast between a poor — but thriving — Indian slum and a wealthy — but stagnating — Europe, Brooks writes:

If you look at Dharavi and see people ...


July 27, 2015, 10:04 am, 1516168

In my recent The Week column, I offered Democrats (Hillary Clinton, for one) and the media some advice: Stop freaking about the “gig” economy. We are not yet a nation of freelancers, independent contractors, or part-timers. Or anywhere close, according to the ...


July 27, 2015, 9:33 am, 1516165

I'm definitely using this one in class when I talk about negative externalities and Coase (Warning: a little NSFW language):

Here is the Pinellas County, Florida explanation of the nuisance odor law:

Commercial barbecue cookers are not exempt from causing a nuisance odor. If a ...


July 27, 2015, 9:33 am, 1516164

A Cambridge Professor has made the astonishing claim that three scientists investigating the melting of Arctic ice may have been assassinated within the space of a few months.

Professor Peter Wadhams said he feared being labelled a “looney” over his suspicion that the deaths of ...


July 27, 2015, 9:33 am, 1516163

Twenty years ago, a group of experts – the “Boskin Commission” – concluded that the U.S. consumer price index (CPI) systematically overstated inflation by 0.8 to 1.6 percentage points each year. Taking these findings to heart, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) got to work reducing ...


July 27, 2015, 9:03 am, 1516099

The Wall Street Journal’s Daily Report on Global Central Banks for Monday, July 27, 2015:

Ask WSJ Central Banks: Dear readers, we are launching a new feature in response to your many questions. Please email your queries about the Fed, other central banks or broader economic topics to this address and we ...


July 27, 2015, 9:03 am, 1516098
European Union flags wave in front of the headquarters of the European Central Bank in Frankfurt, Germany. Associated Press

A recent ECB publication suggests that underlying inflation ...


July 27, 2015, 8:44 am, 1516097
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July 27, 2015, 8:44 am, 1516096
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July 27, 2015, 8:04 am, 1516093

Around 97% of existing yuan-denominated bonds hold ratings of double-A to triple-A—the best a company can get.

That is from Fiona Law, cited by Christopher Balding, and ultimately Alex Frangos, those are ratings from Chinese sources.  Law reports:

With nine Chinese ratings firms to choose among, ...


July 27, 2015, 8:04 am, 1516092

William MacAskill is that rare beast, a hard-headed, soft-hearted proponent of saving the world. His excellent new book, Doing Good Better, is a primer on the effective altruism movement.

Doing Good Better opens, just as you would expect, with an uplifting story of a wonderful person with ...


July 27, 2015, 8:04 am, 1516091
(Don Boudreaux)

… is from page 116 of the 1992 collection of some of William Graham Sumner’s best essays, On Liberty, Society, ...


July 27, 2015, 8:04 am, 1516090
by Joseph Joyce Global Liquidity and U.S. Monetary Policy The events in Greece and the Ukraine have only partially drawn attention away from the financial markets’ focus on changes in U.S. monetary policy. Federal Reserve officials seem to be split over when they will raise their Federal Funds rate target, ...


July 27, 2015, 7:33 am, 1516087

The author makes a good point. (Read the article for the supporting case.)

An almost undetectable fraud would be to conduct a real experiment, and involve other people in it, but to control data management yourself, and substitute convincing fake or edited data for the real measurements.

Related ...


July 27, 2015, 7:33 am, 1516086

It is rather amazing how much affection today's Liberals have for the U.S. of 50 to 60+ years ago.

You can understand why that confidence was strong in Clinton's early years. The United States had just won a world war and was facing not the widely predicted ...


July 27, 2015, 7:33 am, 1516085

From a review of NinaTeicholz'sThe Big Fat Surprise: Why Butter, Meat and CheeseBelong in a Healthy Diet by Donald J. McNamara in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, July 2015:

This book should be read by every nutritional science professional as a guide to risks of hubris and the ...


July 27, 2015, 7:33 am, 1516082

Alexander K. Zentefis, a Ph.D., student at the U. of Chicago, recommends books for graduate study in economics. Useful for undergraduates thinking of going, beginning graduate students, maybe even faculty planning courses.

Also useful for those folks: John Cochrane's eight links to writing resources.


July 27, 2015, 7:33 am, 1516083

To quote what the psychiatrist, Dr. Krakower, chillingly tells Carmela Soprano: "One thing you can never say: You haven't been told."

(Transcript of part of the scene here; video cliphere. One of the absolutely best scenes of the show.)

Related: You might think they'd know better ...


July 27, 2015, 7:33 am, 1516084

Editorial, July 24, Chicago Tribune:

More bad news for Chicago (and Illinois) taxpayers arrived Friday morning in a 35-page, double-sided packet. On one of the last pages: "The entire Act is void."

. . .

The state is in a grotesque stalemate over its finances. ...


July 27, 2015, 6:44 am, 1516027

Structural reforms of labour markets are almost universally advocated by international institutions. This column argues that some of the labour market reforms implemented in Europe during the Crisis were misguided. One problem is that when reforms are imposed on national governments by international institutions, they can backfire. To address this, ...


July 27, 2015, 6:44 am, 1516026
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July 27, 2015, 6:44 am, 1516025

How important are basic skills for economic success and growth? Eric Hanushek of Stanford University's Hoover Institution talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about the importance of basic education in math and literacy and their relationship to economic growth. Hanushek argues that excellence in educating ...


July 27, 2015, 5:33 am, 1516023
The crash in Chinese stocks continued today following a respite last week.

Shares on the Shanghai index plunged 8.48%, the Biggest One-Day Plunge Since February 2007.

The CSI300 index of the largest listed companies in Shanghai and Shenzhen fell 8.6 percent, to 3,818.73, while the Shanghai ...


July 27, 2015, 5:03 am, 1516006

How different would the value of the S&P 500 be if not for the amount of stock buybacks that have taken place in the U.S. stock market since the end of 2008?

We're asking that question today because of the recent suggestion that "Wall ...


July 27, 2015, 5:03 am, 1516005

July 27, 2015, 5:03 am, 1516004

Despite what you might hear from conservatives, Medicare is "eminently sustainable":

Zombies Against Medicare, by Paul Krugman, Commentary, NY Times: Medicare turns 50 this week, and it has been a very good half-century. Before the program went into effect, Ronald Reagan warned that it would destroy American ...


July 27, 2015, 4:44 am, 1516003
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July 27, 2015, 3:03 am, 1515947

July 27, 2015, 3:03 am, 1515946

"When we consider the dangers of debt in today’s world, we should keep an eye on its potential benefits as well.":

Debt miracle: Why the country that borrowed the most industrialized first, by Jaume Ventura and Hans-Joachim Voth, Vox EU: Towering debts, rapidly rising taxes, constant and expensive wars, ...


July 27, 2015, 2:04 am, 1515944

We’re going to be hearing more about this topic I suspect, so let’s start by looking at some of the evidence.  For now I’ll turn the microphone over to Xuemin (Sterling) Yan and Zhe Zhang (pdf):

We show that the positive relation between institutional ownership and future stock returns ...


July 27, 2015, 2:04 am, 1515943
(July 27, 2015 01:58 AM, by David Henderson) Athens, we have a problem. I missed seeing Paul Krugman on Fareed Zakaria's show on CNN on July 19. The transcript is worth looking at, not because it's that informative about Greece but because it's informative about how--and how carefully--Krugman... (0 COMMENTS)


July 27, 2015, 2:04 am, 1515942

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Rapid technological advances in recent years increased worker productivity, but some argue that they also stagnated wages and destroyed jobs. James Bessen, author of “Learning by Doing: The Real Connection Between Innovation, Wages, and Wealth” (Yale University Press, 2015), argues that ...