Economics Roundtable

Technical Problems 1/21/15

The website was down for a day and a half, but is back up now.


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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- Recent Entries


February 27, 2015, 7:33 am, 1430290

Short and funny.

Although we refer to this as an upgrade, it is, at best, a lateral move. The software does the same things as before, except your favorite features have been moved to a place where you will never find them again.

...


February 27, 2015, 7:33 am, 1430289

I have no personal knowledge of any of these except for the thumbs-down--which I second--on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

See also the probably more controversial "The 16 Most Disappointing Places To Visit On Earth".


February 27, 2015, 7:33 am, 1430288

Zhongmin Wang:

In a new RFF discussion paper, “Egregiousness and Boycott intensity: Evidence from the BP Deepwater Horizon Spill,” we ... explore the relationship between boycott intensity and media coverage, due to the latter’s ability to ...


February 27, 2015, 7:03 am, 1430237

Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis President James Bullard warned that if the U.S. central bank isn’t raising rates by the end of September, it could be a bad thing for the economy.

In an interview with the Wall Street Journal late Thursday, the official said his expected economic outlook suggests ...


February 27, 2015, 7:03 am, 1430236

Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta President Dennis Lockhart continues to cautiously eye favoring an interest rate increase this summer, although he added he still needs to see more data to support such an action.

When it comes to lifting the Fed’s short-term interest rate target off the near-zero levels its occupied ...


February 27, 2015, 6:44 am, 1430235
A


February 27, 2015, 6:35 am, 1430234
● U.S. Durable Goods Orders Rebound 2.8% In January | RTT ● Jobless Claims in U.S. Jump by Most Since December 2013 | Bloomberg ● Consumer Prices Drop, Primarily Because of Falling Gas Prices | NY Times ● Dollar on track for eighth month of gains on U.S. data, Fed ...


February 27, 2015, 5:33 am, 1430229

I've written it before, I'll write it again: I love the Internet.


February 27, 2015, 5:03 am, 1430190
Bank of Japan Gov. Haruhiko Kuroda has a vision. Agence France-Presse/Getty Images

Japan needs a surge of power to blast its way out of deflation’s gravitational pull, ...


February 27, 2015, 5:03 am, 1430189


February 27, 2015, 5:03 am, 1430188

Perhaps the only thing cooler that the JPL's image of the dwarf planet Ceres taken by the Dawn probe....


February 27, 2015, 5:03 am, 1430187

February 27, 2015, 3:03 am, 1430158
Federal Reserve Board Chairwoman Janet Yellen testifies during a House Financial Services Committee hearing on Capitol Hill on Wednesday. Getty Images

Federal Reserve Chairwoman Janet Yellen headed to Capitol Hill ...


February 27, 2015, 3:03 am, 1430157

Like waistlines, American homes keep getting bigger.

The median size of completed homes last year hit a new record of 2,415 square feet, according to the Commerce Department.

Home sizes grew in every year ...


February 27, 2015, 3:03 am, 1430152

The Wall Street Journal’s Daily Report on Global Central Banks for Thursday, February 26, 2015:

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


Highlights

Hilsenrath’s Take: That Didn’t Go Well, Madame Chair Fed’s Yellen Fends Off Charges of Partisan ...


February 27, 2015, 3:03 am, 1430153
Automated welding machine robots assemble automobile bodies last last year. Getty Images

Some economists call it the “great decoupling.”

For decades, U.S. productivity and total employment rose in ...


February 27, 2015, 3:03 am, 1430156
MIT economics professor David Autor says, “If we automate all the jobs, we’ll be rich.” Dominick Reuter for The Wall Street Journal

David Autor knows a lot about ...


February 27, 2015, 3:03 am, 1430151
The drop in the consumer price index is centered in energy prices, with the gasoline index alone plunging 18.7% in January over December. Getty Images

The U.S. ...


February 27, 2015, 3:03 am, 1430155

Greece’s central bank said on Wednesday it will propose to the government the appointment of economist Theodoros Mitrakos as its new deputy governor.

The Bank of Greece’s general council has proposed that Mr. Mitrakos replaces Ioannis Papadakis, whose term at the bank is up in early March, the bank said in ...


February 27, 2015, 3:03 am, 1430154
Federal Reserve Board Chairwoman Janet Yellen listens to questions during a House Financial Services Committee hearing on Capitol Hill on Wednesday. Getty Images

Federal Reserve Chairwoman


February 27, 2015, 3:03 am, 1430147

Stagnant wage growth and stubbornly high unemployment have plagued the U.S., Europe and other advanced economies in the wake of the global financial crisis.

An employee prepares a chromatography on ...


February 27, 2015, 3:03 am, 1430146

Deflation, narrowly defined, returned to the U.S. in January for the first time since 2009 as consumer prices fell 0.1% from a year earlier. Because this was due to cheaper gasoline, economists were quick to dismiss the significance. Excluding food and energy, “core” prices were still up 1.6% from ...


February 27, 2015, 3:03 am, 1430150
A child shops at a food bank in Utica, N.Y. A new report shows the gaps in median income and wealth between black and Hispanic Americans and white Americans ...


February 27, 2015, 3:03 am, 1430145
A crowd protests inside the Wisconsin State Capitol this week in opposition to a right-to-work legislation. A ranking of America’s most-unionized states didn’t include any industrial Midwestern states, long ...


February 27, 2015, 3:03 am, 1430148

Bank of England Deputy Governor Minouche Shafik Thursday said the central bank’s next monetary policy move will likely be a gradual and limited rise in its benchmark interest rates.

But in a speech at Warwick University, she also said the central bank will ease policy if a period of very low ...


February 27, 2015, 3:03 am, 1430149

A mix of falling inflation and rising wages last month gave Americans their biggest real raise in more than six years.

Inflation-adjusted average hourly earnings jumped a seasonally adjusted 1.2% in January, the ...


February 27, 2015, 3:03 am, 1430143
While the Fed has acknowledged the drop in inflation expectations, it has also regularly dismissed its significance, emphasizing instead the stability of survey based measures.  Bloomberg ...


February 27, 2015, 3:03 am, 1430144

The Federal Reserve and Chairwoman Janet Yellen make policy decisions based on economics and not politics, Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland President Loretta Mester said Thursday.

Reuters

“I don’t ...


February 27, 2015, 3:03 am, 1430142

Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco President John Williams said the door is open to central bank interest rate increases any time from mid-June onward.

San Francisco Fed President John ...


February 27, 2015, 3:03 am, 1430141

Federal Reserve Chairwoman Janet Yellen indicated this week the central bank is considering a shift away from its pledge to be “patient” in deciding when to start raising short-term interest rates.


February 27, 2015, 3:03 am, 1430139


February 27, 2015, 3:03 am, 1430140
Bank of Japan Gov. Haruhiko Kuroda has a vision. Agence France-Presse/Getty Images

Japan needs a surge of power to blast its way out of deflation’s gravitational pull, ...


February 27, 2015, 2:44 am, 1430138

There is no consensus among economists on the forces that drove the historical rise of US house prices and household debt that preceded the Global Crisis. In this column, the authors argue that the fundamental factor behind that boom was an increase in the supply of mortgage credit. This rise ...


February 27, 2015, 2:05 am, 1430137

I’ve long suggested that those worried about inequality, envy, and relative deprivation should tax Facebook rather than the private fortune of Bill Gates.  Most envy is local, and connected to people you know and whose lives you are in touch with.  Along these lines, here is some recent ...


February 27, 2015, 2:04 am, 1430136

If you have trouble registering for this event, please email conferences@aei.org.

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is moving to reclassify wired and wireless Internet services as a public utility under Title II of the Communications Act. The vote, expected to occur on February 26, is among the most controversial issues ever ...


February 27, 2015, 2:04 am, 1430135

The United Kingdom is currently undertaking the most ambitious overhaul of its welfare system in 60 years — most significantly, the development and rollout of Universal Credit, a new benefit system designed for the 21st century.

We welcome you to join us at AEI as UK Secretary of State for Work ...


February 27, 2015, 1:33 am, 1430134
In 2006-2007 I called for a recession. We got a big one. I called for another one in 2011, as did the ECRI. That recession never happened.

50% is not a very good recession predicting track record except in comparison to consensus economic opinions that have never once in ...


February 27, 2015, 1:03 am, 1430081

Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco President John Williams said the door is open to central bank interest rate increases any time from mid-June onward.

San Francisco Fed President John ...


February 27, 2015, 1:03 am, 1430080

Federal Reserve Chairwoman Janet Yellen indicated this week the central bank is considering a shift away from its pledge to be “patient” in deciding when to start raising short-term interest rates.


February 27, 2015, 12:05 am, 1430078

That is the new Robert D. Putnam book and it focuses on the widening opportunity gap among America’s young.  Much of the work is narrative and case studies, starting with Port Clinton, Ohio but not stopping there.  Any Putnam book is an event, and this one ...


February 27, 2015, 12:04 am, 1430077
(February 27, 2015 12:09 AM, by Bryan Caplan) As soon as Tyler posted his "Totally Conventional Views Which I Hold," I felt the urge to do the same. In no particular order:1. Most academics are out of touch with the real world and have little useful to say... (0 COMMENTS)


February 26, 2015, 10:44 pm, 1430015
A


February 26, 2015, 9:33 pm, 1430011

The Swedes really don't like cash. First, consider that Sweden is the only country in the world that I'm aware of where reliance on paper money is in decline. Second, no country's central bank has produced a ...


February 26, 2015, 9:33 pm, 1430010

1. Chart of the Day. Thanks to globalization and trade, clothing is an amazing bargain for US consumers. While consumer prices have increased more than 64% on average over the last several decades since 1993 (and average wages by 90%), the CPI for ...


February 26, 2015, 9:03 pm, 1429948
The following important older post on inflation from Professor Krugman explains why I follow various measures of underlying inflation: Core Logic

[T]he idea of core inflation. Why do we need such a concept, and how should it be measured?

So: core inflation is usually measured by taking ...


February 26, 2015, 8:04 pm, 1429944
(February 26, 2015 07:06 PM, by Scott Sumner) During periods where there is an enormous demand shortfall, such as the 1930s and the period after 2008, there is a resurgence of interest in demand-side models. This is good. But it also produces an unfortunate side effect---mission creep. Demand... (0 COMMENTS)


February 26, 2015, 8:04 pm, 1429943

At the maximum inflation of the tech stock bubble, the Nasdaq stock index reached its peak of 5,048 on March 10, 2000. It closed yesterday, February 25, 2015, at 4,967, so the media is full of excitement about how, after 15 years, the Nasdaq is almost back to its peak.

But ...


February 26, 2015, 8:04 pm, 1429942

1. Chart of the Day. Thanks to globalization and trade, clothing is an amazing bargain for US consumers. While consumer prices have increased more than 64% on average over the last several decades since 1993 (and average wages ...


February 26, 2015, 7:33 pm, 1429940
For those professors starting to write economics final exams, I suggest that you post the following two comments that were posted on the NY Times webpage. Ask your students for an evaluation of the logic behind each of them. Each quote highlights that economists have failed in our educational mission ...


February 26, 2015, 7:03 pm, 1429878

International tax reform done on a multilateral basis—also known as the OECD’s Base Erosion and Profit Shifting (BEPS) initiative—may have additional positive effects beyond, at least theoretically, better distributing tax revenue according to economic activity. A recent TPC/UCLA conference on international tax reform highlighted a less discussed ...


February 26, 2015, 7:03 pm, 1429877

Nevada appreciates the razzle-dazzle.

After a week of meetings to promote our new book on Nevada tax reform, I was invited to address the annual dinner of the Nevada Taxpayers Association in Carson City yesterday. For a variety of fairly dull reasons, at the last minute I swapped out my ...


February 26, 2015, 7:03 pm, 1429876
While the Fed has acknowledged the drop in inflation expectations, it has also regularly dismissed its significance, emphasizing instead the stability of survey based measures.  Bloomberg ...


February 26, 2015, 7:03 pm, 1429875

NEW YORK–Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco President John Williams said the door is open to central bank interest rate increases any time from mid-June onward.
In an interview with The Wall Street Journal, Mr. Williams expressed a good deal of confidence in the U.S. outlook, especially on hiring. He ...


February 26, 2015, 7:03 pm, 1429874

Federal Reserve Chairwoman Janet Yellen indicated this week the central bank is considering a shift away from its pledge to be “patient” in deciding when to start raising short-term interest rates.

She has said “patient” means the Fed won’t raise its benchmark federal funds rate at its next two meetings. ...


February 26, 2015, 7:03 pm, 1429873

Political Calculations criticizes me for comparing Wisconsin economic performance against Minnesota, but not other neighbors.

Normally, we’re entertained by Chinn’s analysis, since it frequently involves comparisons of the job growth between Wisconsin and its western neighbor Minnesota since Walker was sworn into office in January 2011, which we find funny ...


February 26, 2015, 7:03 pm, 1429872
Freddie Mac reported that the Single-Family serious delinquency rate declined in January to 1.86%, down from 1.88% in December. Freddie's rate is down from 2.34% in January 2014, and the rate in January was the lowest level since December 2008. Freddie's serious delinquency rate peaked in February 2010 ...


February 26, 2015, 6:04 pm, 1429866
(Don Boudreaux)

In Montgomery County, MD, (where Russ lives), the personal possession and discharge of firecrackers and other fireworks is prohibited.  (It’s “unlawful.”)  In bordering Fairfax County, VA, (where I live), the personal possession and discharge of firecrackers and other small fireworks is not prohibited. (It’s “lawful.”)

Suppose that some officious ...


February 26, 2015, 6:04 pm, 1429865

Download the report here.

View the interactive guide of the 50 states to see how states are changing by demographics like race, age, ...


February 26, 2015, 6:04 pm, 1429864

Fed chair Janet Yellen’s speech on inequality is back in the news thanks to yesterday’s rough-and-tumble Congressional hearing. I wrote about this a bit back at the time.

Speaking in Boston last ...


February 26, 2015, 6:04 pm, 1429862
Sir, Fred Bergsten (Letters, February 17) charges that the FT is “thoroughly confused”. Alas, it is Dr Bergsten whose political tactics are both confused and wrong-headed.

First, let me say that the trade community (at least the free ...


February 26, 2015, 6:04 pm, 1429863

As the endgame for America’s nuclear negotiations with Iran looms, I hope that Washington is paying attention to the critical flaws in both its failed agreements with North Korea and the ineffective sanctions imposed on the country in response. I wrote in last month’s issue how Pyongyang has constantly


February 26, 2015, 5:33 pm, 1429858


February 26, 2015, 5:33 pm, 1429857
A chart of Ukraine's currency is nonsensical once again today.



Supposedly the hryvnia rallied again today, if only by a miniscule amount 0.15%. Yet, once again the chart is complete nonsense.

Black Market Rate

The


February 26, 2015, 5:03 pm, 1429794

Corporate tax rate cuts are good for economic growth, and they aren’t bad for government revenues, either.

In fact, eliminating the corporate income tax would actually increase annual federal revenue in the long run. This is due to two main factors: economic growth and the distribution of corporate ...


February 26, 2015, 5:03 pm, 1429790

The Wall Street Journal’s Daily Report on Global Central Banks for Wednesday, February 25, 2015:

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


Highlights

Hilsenrath’s Take: Goodbye Patient; Hello Reasonably Confident Yellen Puts Fed on Path to Lift Rates


February 26, 2015, 5:03 pm, 1429791
Bank of England Gov. Mark Carney. The BOE has launched a new research program that seeks answers to most of the big questions facing central bankers.


February 26, 2015, 5:03 pm, 1429793
Scott Alvarez in May 2012. Bloomberg News

The most contentious exchange during Janet Yellen‘s appearance on Capitol Hill on Tuesday was about public remarks made ...


February 26, 2015, 5:03 pm, 1429789
Federal Reserve Board Chairwoman Janet Yellen testifies during a House Financial Services Committee hearing on Capitol Hill on Wednesday. Getty Images

Federal Reserve Chairwoman Janet Yellen headed to Capitol Hill ...


February 26, 2015, 5:03 pm, 1429792

Inserting sanctions for currency manipulation into trade agreements could harm the appropriate conduct of monetary policy, Federal Reserve Chairwoman Janet Yellen said Tuesday.

Ms. Yellen was asked about the idea during testimony before the Senate Banking Committee. She said that because monetary policy can affect the value of exchange rates, any ...


February 26, 2015, 5:03 pm, 1429783

The Wall Street Journal’s Daily Report on Global Central Banks for Thursday, February 26, 2015:

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


Highlights

Hilsenrath’s Take: That Didn’t Go Well, Madame Chair Fed’s Yellen Fends Off Charges of Partisan ...


February 26, 2015, 5:03 pm, 1429788

Like waistlines, American homes keep getting bigger.

The median size of completed homes last year hit a new record of 2,415 square feet, according to the Commerce Department.

Home sizes grew in every year ...


February 26, 2015, 5:03 pm, 1429785
Federal Reserve Board Chairwoman Janet Yellen listens to questions during a House Financial Services Committee hearing on Capitol Hill on Wednesday. Getty Images

Federal Reserve Chairwoman


February 26, 2015, 5:03 pm, 1429784
Automated welding machine robots assemble automobile bodies last last year. Getty Images

Some economists call it the “great decoupling.”

For decades, U.S. productivity and total employment rose in ...


February 26, 2015, 5:03 pm, 1429786

Greece’s central bank said on Wednesday it will propose to the government the appointment of economist Theodoros Mitrakos as its new deputy governor.

The Bank of Greece’s general council has proposed that Mr. Mitrakos replaces Ioannis Papadakis, whose term at the bank is up in early March, the bank said in ...


February 26, 2015, 5:03 pm, 1429787
MIT economics professor David Autor says, “If we automate all the jobs, we’ll be rich.” Dominick Reuter for The Wall Street Journal

David Autor knows a lot about ...


February 26, 2015, 5:03 pm, 1429780

A mix of falling inflation and rising wages last month gave Americans their biggest real raise in more than six years.

Inflation-adjusted average hourly earnings jumped a seasonally adjusted 1.2% in January, the ...


February 26, 2015, 5:03 pm, 1429781
A child shops at a food bank in Utica, N.Y. A new report shows the gaps in median income and wealth between black and Hispanic Americans and white Americans ...


February 26, 2015, 5:03 pm, 1429782
The drop in the consumer price index is centered in energy prices, with the gasoline index alone plunging 18.7% in January over December. Getty Images

The U.S. ...


February 26, 2015, 5:03 pm, 1429779

Bank of England Deputy Governor Minouche Shafik Thursday said the central bank’s next monetary policy move will likely be a gradual and limited rise in its benchmark interest rates.

But in a speech at Warwick University, she also said the central bank will ease policy if a period of very low ...


February 26, 2015, 5:03 pm, 1429776
A crowd protests inside the Wisconsin State Capitol this week in opposition to a right-to-work legislation. A ranking of America’s most-unionized states didn’t include any industrial Midwestern states, long ...


February 26, 2015, 5:03 pm, 1429775

The Federal Reserve and Chairwoman Janet Yellen make policy decisions based on economics and not politics, Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland President Loretta Mester said Thursday.

Reuters

“I don’t ...


February 26, 2015, 5:03 pm, 1429778

Stagnant wage growth and stubbornly high unemployment have plagued the U.S., Europe and other advanced economies in the wake of the global financial crisis.

An employee prepares a chromatography on ...


February 26, 2015, 5:03 pm, 1429777

Deflation, narrowly defined, returned to the U.S. in January for the first time since 2009 as consumer prices fell 0.1% from a year earlier. Because this was due to cheaper gasoline, economists were quick to dismiss the significance. Excluding food and energy, “core” prices were still up 1.6% from ...


February 26, 2015, 5:03 pm, 1429774
While the Fed has acknowledged the drop in inflation expectations, it has also regularly dismissed its significance, emphasizing instead the stability of survey based measures.  Bloomberg ...


February 26, 2015, 4:44 pm, 1429773
A


February 26, 2015, 4:44 pm, 1429772
A


February 26, 2015, 4:44 pm, 1429771
A


February 26, 2015, 4:44 pm, 1429770
A


February 26, 2015, 4:44 pm, 1429769

Last year's most popular guest, Duke University's Mike Munger, was back on EconTalk this week, discussing the process of choosing in groups.

Their conversation ranged from Odysseus to the Lewis and Clark expedition, and more. Now it's your turn...Choose one of the questions below and submit your reply via email ...


February 26, 2015, 4:44 pm, 1429768

I want to thank everyone who responded to the Benn Steil continuing education post. Most of the responses were related to the question about war's impact on GDP and why I thought war was bad for the economy even though it boosts GDP.

Listener/reader David Hurwitz did a nice job ...


February 26, 2015, 4:34 pm, 1429767

It’s been just over a year since I started posting TPC’s Daily Deduction. It’s high time I let you in on a little secret: Whenever I tell people that I write about “tax news and research” I get the exact same reaction. Imagine furrowed eyebrows, coupled with a sad, “Oh.”

Every. ...


February 26, 2015, 4:34 pm, 1429766
A


February 26, 2015, 4:04 pm, 1429765
(Don Boudreaux)

This post is inspired by some comments at this EconLog post by David Henderson.

…..

Money prices set by market forces play a uniquely important role in directing and disciplining economic actions.  This role is both so central to an economy’s health, as well as so deeply ignored or ...


February 26, 2015, 4:04 pm, 1429764

Last week, The New York Federal Reserve Bank released a lot of data shedding new light on student loan debt. One of the findings that has received the most attention (see here,


February 26, 2015, 4:04 pm, 1429763

On Friday, the U.S. House will vote on the Student Success Act (H.R. 5). The bill would revamp the Bush-era No Child Left Behind Act (formally known as the Elementary and Secondary Education Act). It’s a promising bill and one that deserves the enthusiastic support of conservatives.

The Student Success Act ...


February 26, 2015, 4:04 pm, 1429762

Last week, the Wall Street Journal reported on a series of satellite images, released by IHS Jane’s, showing Chinese island construction in the South China Sea. On the same day, February 18, the Center for Strategic and International Studies’ Asia Maritime Transparency Initiative ...


February 26, 2015, 3:33 pm, 1429758
Right-to-Work legislation is sweeping the Midwest. It's one of many reforms needed to makes states more competitive, reduce cost pressures on infrastructure projects, and hold down the necessity of tax hikes.

Today the Wisconsin Senate Passed 'Right to Work' Legislation.

The proposal would let workers opt ...


February 26, 2015, 3:23 pm, 1429757
table { font: inherit; font-size: 90%; } .citation, .byline { font-style: italic; } .centeredImage { display: block !important; margin-left: auto !important; margin-right: auto !important; }

The last payroll employment report from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) included some relatively good news on wages. Private average hourly earnings rose an estimated 12 cents ...


February 26, 2015, 3:03 pm, 1429695

Earlier this month there was a little argument between the Treasury Department and the Tax Policy Center. The argument was over a particular provision: the White House’s proposal to tax accrued (but unrealized) capital gains at death.

The Tax Policy Center’s analysis showed that this proposal would affect some middle-income ...


February 26, 2015, 3:03 pm, 1429693
An employee prepares a chromatography on  at the National Institute of Sciences and Technology for Environment and Agriculture center in Rennes, France, where researchers work on the optimization of ...


February 26, 2015, 3:03 pm, 1429694

Bank of England Deputy Governor Minouche Shafik Thursday said the central bank’s next monetary policy move will likely be a gradual and limited rise in its benchmark interest rates.

But in a speech at Warwick University, she also said the central bank will ease policy if a period of very low ...


February 26, 2015, 3:03 pm, 1429691
A crowd protests inside the Wisconsin State Capitol this week in opposition to a right-to-work legislation. A ranking of America’s most-unionized states didn’t include any industrial Midwestern states, long ...


February 26, 2015, 3:03 pm, 1429690

The Federal Reserve and Chairwoman Janet Yellen make policy decisions based on economics and not politics, Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland President Loretta Mester said Thursday.

“I don’t think the Fed has become political… We’re going to focus on the economic developments,” Ms. Mester said during an interview on CNBC, ...


February 26, 2015, 3:03 pm, 1429692

Deflation, narrowly defined, returned to the U.S. in January for the first time since 2009 as consumer prices fell 0.1% from a year earlier. Because this was due to cheaper gasoline, economists were quick to dismiss the significance. Excluding food and energy, “core” prices were still up 1.6% from ...


February 26, 2015, 3:03 pm, 1429689

Research by Jaumotte and Carolina Osorio Buitron of the IMF finds that "The decline in unionization in recent decades has fed the rise in incomes at the top":

Power from the People: Inequality has risen in many advanced economies since the 1980s, largely because of the concentration of incomes ...


February 26, 2015, 3:03 pm, 1429688
The automakers will report February vehicle sales on Tuesday, March 3rd. Sales in January were at 16.6 million on a seasonally adjusted annual rate basis (SAAR), and it appears sales in February will be about the same, and will probably be the best February since 2002.

Note: There ...


February 26, 2015, 2:44 pm, 1429686
A


February 26, 2015, 2:44 pm, 1429687
A


February 26, 2015, 2:44 pm, 1429685
A


February 26, 2015, 2:05 pm, 1429684

February 26, 2015, 2:04 pm, 1429683
Publisher’s (New Press) webpage: Social Security Works! More below the fold. Non-disclaimer: I bought my copy. Nobody gave me one for review or to plug. Disclaimer: I am a casual friend of auther Eric Kingson and a somewhat better friend of Nancy Altman. Disclaimer: It would not bother me a ...


February 26, 2015, 2:04 pm, 1429682
Economic policy scholars


February 26, 2015, 2:04 pm, 1429681

Subsidized exporters are flooding Capitol Hill today to lobby for renewal of the Export-Import Bank, a federal agency that extends taxpayer-backed financing to foreign buyers of U.S. goods. I posted the talking points prepared by the “Ex-Im ...


February 26, 2015, 1:03 pm, 1429616

The Wall Street Journal’s Daily Report on Global Central Banks for Wednesday, February 25, 2015:

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


Highlights

Hilsenrath’s Take: Goodbye Patient; Hello Reasonably Confident Yellen Puts Fed on Path to Lift Rates


February 26, 2015, 1:03 pm, 1429617
Bank of England Gov. Mark Carney. The BOE has launched a new research program that seeks answers to most of the big questions facing central bankers.


February 26, 2015, 1:03 pm, 1429615
Federal Reserve Board Chairwoman Janet Yellen testifies during a House Financial Services Committee hearing on Capitol Hill on Wednesday. Getty Images

Federal Reserve Chairwoman Janet Yellen headed to Capitol Hill ...


February 26, 2015, 1:03 pm, 1429614

Like waistlines, American homes keep getting bigger.

The median size of completed homes last year hit a new record of 2,415 square feet, according to the Commerce Department.

Home sizes grew in every year ...


February 26, 2015, 1:03 pm, 1429610
Automated welding machine robots assemble automobile bodies last last year. Getty Images

Some economists call it the “great decoupling.”

For decades, U.S. productivity and total employment rose in ...


February 26, 2015, 1:03 pm, 1429611
Federal Reserve Board Chairwoman Janet Yellen listens to questions during a House Financial Services Committee hearing on Capitol Hill on Wednesday. Getty Images

Federal Reserve Chairwoman


February 26, 2015, 1:03 pm, 1429612

Greece’s central bank said on Wednesday it will propose to the government the appointment of economist Theodoros Mitrakos as its new deputy governor.

The Bank of Greece’s general council has proposed that Mr. Mitrakos replaces Ioannis Papadakis, whose term at the bank is up in early March, the bank said in ...


February 26, 2015, 1:03 pm, 1429613
MIT economics professor David Autor says, “If we automate all the jobs, we’ll be rich.” Dominick Reuter for The Wall Street Journal

David Autor knows a lot about ...


February 26, 2015, 1:03 pm, 1429609

The Wall Street Journal’s Daily Report on Global Central Banks for Thursday, February 26, 2015:

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


Highlights

Hilsenrath’s Take: That Didn’t Go Well, Madame Chair Fed’s Yellen Fends Off Charges of Partisan ...


February 26, 2015, 1:03 pm, 1429605

Bank of England Deputy Governor Minouche Shafik Thursday said the central bank’s next monetary policy move will likely be a gradual and limited rise in its benchmark interest rates.

But in a speech at Warwick University, she also said the central bank will ease policy if a period of very low ...


February 26, 2015, 1:03 pm, 1429608
The drop in the consumer price index is centered in energy prices, with the gasoline index alone plunging 18.7% in January over December. Getty Images

The U.S. ...


February 26, 2015, 1:03 pm, 1429606

A mix of falling inflation and rising wages last month gave Americans their biggest real raise in more than six years.

Inflation-adjusted average hourly earnings jumped a seasonally adjusted 1.2% in January, the ...


February 26, 2015, 1:03 pm, 1429607
A child shops at a food bank in Utica, N.Y. A new report shows the gaps in median income and wealth between black and Hispanic Americans and white Americans ...


February 26, 2015, 1:03 pm, 1429604

At MoneyWatch:

Is competition to attract businesses harmful?: State and local governments often use incentives such as tax cuts, rebates, promises of government services and the easing of regulatory restrictions to induce new or existing businesses to locate in their region.

But this strategy raises some important questions:

Do these policies ...


February 26, 2015, 1:03 pm, 1429603

Brad DeLong:

Making Do with More: If we as a species can avoid nuclear war; curb those among us who are violent because they are God-maddened, state-maddened, or ethnicity-maddened; properly coordinate global action to reduce global warming from its current intolerable projected path to a tolerable one, adapt to ...


February 26, 2015, 1:03 pm, 1429602

Simon Wren-Lewis:

Can helicopter money be democratic?: Helicopter money started as an abstract thought experiment..., in technical terms this is a combination of monetary policy (the creation of money) and fiscal policy (the government giving individuals money). Economists call such combinations a money financed fiscal stimulus. With the advent ...


February 26, 2015, 1:03 pm, 1429601
From the Kansas City Fed: Tenth District Manufacturing Activity Rose Just Slightly

The Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City released the February Manufacturing Survey today. According to Chad Wilkerson, vice president and economist at the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, the survey revealed that Tenth District manufacturing ...


February 26, 2015, 1:03 pm, 1429600
The Cleveland Fed released the median CPI and the trimmed-mean CPI this morning:

According to the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland, the median Consumer Price Index rose 0.2% (1.9% annualized rate) in January. The 16% trimmed-mean Consumer Price Index rose 0.1% (1.3% annualized rate) during the month. The median ...


February 26, 2015, 12:35 pm, 1429598

The Obama Administration, finally acknowledging the seasonal mismatch between the Affordable Care Act’s open enrollment season and the ACA’s tax-based penalties for failing to have insurance, decided on Friday to create a new special enrollment season for this year only.  The new window will allow those who ...


February 26, 2015, 12:35 pm, 1429599

There are tax information troubles for ACA enrollees. When it comes to the Affordable Care Act and filing taxes, “sorting through all the necessary paperwork is hard to do, even for those of us whose day jobs are in tax policy,” writes TPC’s Ellen Steele, a tax-preparing volunteer with ...


February 26, 2015, 12:35 pm, 1429596

So far, most people with Affordable Care Act insurance subsidies seem to be filing their taxes without huge problems, despite the complexity of the process. However, about half of those who have filed returns with tax prep firm H&R Block and who owe a penalty for not having insurance, have expressed ...


February 26, 2015, 12:35 pm, 1429597

There are better ways to tie Affordable Care Act enrollment to tax filing season. This morning from 8:30 to 10:00 am, the Tax Policy Center and the Brookings Institution sponsor a panel and webcast examining ways to use tax filing to encourage people to buy insurance. Consider the White ...


February 26, 2015, 12:35 pm, 1429594

The New York Times recently reported Republican governors across the country were "bucking the party line" on taxes, citing eight GOP executives proposing tax hikes. Bloomberg also noted the trend of Republican governors and "much-regretted" tax increases earlier this week. However, the Wall Street Journal just heralded ...


February 26, 2015, 12:35 pm, 1429595

High-income households can worry even less about being audited this year. Last year, the IRS audited just 7.5 percent of households earning more than $1 million in 2013. That’s the lowest share since 2009. Its overall individual audit rate was 0.86 percent, the lowest  since 2004. The IRS ...


February 26, 2015, 12:35 pm, 1429593

This is one of a series of guest TaxVox blog posts discussing dynamic scoring

House Ways & Means Committee Chairman Paul Ryan has claimed that the House dynamic scoring rule would generate more information.  But the new rule asks for an official cost estimate that reflects only a ...


February 26, 2015, 12:34 pm, 1429592

Are they for ‘em or against ‘em? When it comes to taxes and GOP governors, TPC’s Richard Auxier says, “The answer depends on the tax. Given budget demands, Republican governors are open to new tax revenue—as long as it is never, ever from individual income taxes.”

Case in point: Iowa ...


February 26, 2015, 12:34 pm, 1429591

It’s been just over a year since I started posting TPC’s Daily Deduction. It’s high time I let you in on a little secret: Whenever I tell people that I write about “tax news and research” I get the exact same reaction. Imagine furrowed eyebrows, coupled with a sad, “Oh.”

Every. ...


February 26, 2015, 12:34 pm, 1429590
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February 26, 2015, 12:04 pm, 1429588


February 26, 2015, 12:04 pm, 1429587

One of President Obama ’s golfing buddies has embarrassed him badly, and not because of a few bogeys. That golfing partner is Najib Razak , the prime minister of Malaysia, who joined President Obama for a round in Honolulu over Christmas. Mr. Najib’s government recently jailed the popular Malaysian opposition ...


February 26, 2015, 12:04 pm, 1429586
Senior Fellow John Bolton discusses the possibility of Boko Haram and ISIS teaming up on Fox News' 'On the Record.'


February 26, 2015, 12:04 pm, 1429584

While George W. Bush began his presidency seeing in Russian President Vladimir Putin a friend and a partner, by the end of Bush’s presidency, US-Russian relations were strained. The two governments verbally sparred over the US withdrawal from the Anti-Ballistic ...


February 26, 2015, 12:04 pm, 1429585

Remember the case of the dog that did not bark in the night?

If you want to count the “digital” and “paper” versions of trees that have been killed in trying to argue about the upcoming Supreme Court review of the legal challenge to an IRS rules that tried to authorize ...


February 26, 2015, 12:04 pm, 1429582

The “Audit the Fed” proposal of Senator Rand Paul (R-Ky.) elicits a surprising amount of emotion, from opponents and supporters alike. Why should this be?

“Monetary policy” purposefully sounds technical and dull—you like it that way if you want to keep it the domain of supposedly objective experts who don’t want ...


February 26, 2015, 12:04 pm, 1429583

This blog series analyzes the most important Iran news events of the past week and provides an outlook of the regime’s strategic calculus.

Outlook:

Tehran is still projecting cautious optimism that an emerging nuclear deal could meet their expectations to retain an advanced uranium enrichment program while still alleviating United Nations (UN) ...


February 26, 2015, 12:04 pm, 1429580

On Monday March 2, from 2:00 to 2:45pm, at AEI, Representative Greg Walden (R-OR), the Chairman of the House Subcommittee on Communications and Technology, will share his reaction to today’s FCC vote on net neutrality. To register,


February 26, 2015, 12:04 pm, 1429581

The following is an interview of Peter J. Wallison by World Magazine’s Kent Covington.

On the whole, the housing market has regained much of the ground it lost in the 2008 financial crisis. Sales have been healthier each year for the past few years.

But some analysts are concerned many of the factors ...


February 26, 2015, 12:04 pm, 1429579

“The GOP is debating whether Reaganomics needs an update” is a must-read piece by Washington Post reporter Jim Tankersley. One side answers the “What would Reagan do?” question by offering a nostalgic return to the ...


February 26, 2015, 11:33 am, 1429578
"genetic differences explained roughly 33% of the variations in individual savings rates."

Read more here.


February 26, 2015, 11:33 am, 1429577
In the year 2015, our cities are increasingly safe, clean and green. Yet, the NY Times points out new challenges that cities around the world now face. Example #1 is Jeju, South Korea. This article sketches the recent trend that large numbers of wealthy Chinese tourists are visiting ...


February 26, 2015, 11:03 am, 1429515
A child shops at a food bank in Utica, N.Y. A new report shows the gaps in median income and wealth between black and Hispanic Americans and white Americans ...


February 26, 2015, 11:03 am, 1429516
The drop in the consumer price index is centered in energy prices, with the gasoline index alone plunging 18.7% in January over December. Getty Images

The U.S. ...


February 26, 2015, 11:03 am, 1429514

A mix of falling inflation and rising wages last month gave Americans their biggest real raise in more than six years.

Inflation-adjusted average hourly earnings jumped a seasonally adjusted 1.2% in January, the ...


February 26, 2015, 10:44 am, 1429513
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February 26, 2015, 10:34 am, 1429512

Ed Miliband is right. MPs should be banned from having paid directorships and consultancies. However, I don't say this for the conventional reasons.

It's not because such jobs distract MPs from their duties to voters and the country. The way to stop an MP doing ...


February 26, 2015, 10:34 am, 1429511
Teaser:

Government ...


February 26, 2015, 9:33 am, 1429503

I'm trolling Elizabeth Breunig. Because she said that "Human capital is one of the more odious terms in the capitalist lexicon". And I like the term "human capital", because I think it helps us think more clearly about investment in training and education.

Are new-born babies "human capital"? My ...


February 26, 2015, 9:33 am, 1429502

The guardian of academic integrity or something? I should blissfully end being snowed in and not having to teach negative externality in an 8 am micro class.From the inbox:

Classes that begin before 12:30 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 26, are canceled. Classes that begin at 12:30 p.m. and later will be ...


February 26, 2015, 9:33 am, 1429501

Christian Neumann, Linwood Pendleton, Marianne Kettunen and Tundi Agardy:

The value of ecosystems and the associated services they provide is receiving growing attention both in the public and decision-making arena. The language of Ecosystem Services essentially translates the complexity of ecological processes and functions into descriptors that define the socio-economic-ecological link. ...


February 26, 2015, 9:33 am, 1429500

I'd like to know too:

A Democratic member of Congress is digging into the funding of a handful of researchers who have questioned the prevailing view on the causes of climate change,The Washington Postreports.

Arizona’s Raul M. Grijalva, the top Democrat on the House of Representatives’ Committee on Natural Resources, ...


February 26, 2015, 9:03 am, 1429439
The DOL reported:

In the week ending February 21, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims was 313,000, an increase of 31,000 from the previous week's revised level. The previous week's level was revised down by 1,000 from 283,000 to 282,000. The 4-week moving average was 294,500, an ...


February 26, 2015, 8:44 am, 1429438

A minor adverse shock to financial markets can be propagated by liquidity strains, leading to a major crisis. This column suggests a novel measure to address systemic liquidity risk – a Macroprudential Liquidity Buffer, which would require financial institutions to hold systemically liquid assets in proportion to their liabilities less ...


February 26, 2015, 8:44 am, 1429437
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February 26, 2015, 8:35 am, 1429436
Deflation risk seems to be making a comeback… again. Germany yesterday sold five-year government notes at a negative yield for the first time in its history. Meanwhile, China’s central bank this week warned that the threat of deflation is rising for the world’s second-largest economy. Europe and Japan, of course, ...


February 26, 2015, 8:35 am, 1429435

Are they for ‘em or against ‘em? When it comes to taxes and GOP governors, TPC’s Richard Auxier says, “The answer depends on the tax. Given budget demands, Republican governors are open to new tax revenue—as long as it is never, ever from individual income taxes.”

Case in point: Iowa ...


February 26, 2015, 8:05 am, 1429432

This is perhaps the first real crack in the wall for the almost-universal use of the null hypothesis significance testing procedure (NHSTP). The journal, Basic and Applied Social Psychology (BASP), has banned the use of NHSTP and related statistical procedures from their journal. They previously had stated that use ...


February 26, 2015, 8:05 am, 1429433

Yesterday, the Supreme Court ruled (6:3) in North Carolina State Board of Dental Examiners v. FTC that the attempt of the state board of dental examiners to exclude nondentists from the practice of teeth whitening violated the Sherman antitrust act.

The opinion, written ...


February 26, 2015, 8:04 am, 1429431
(Don Boudreaux)

… is from page 423 of Robert Bork’s masterful 1978 volume, The Antitrust Paradox:

When an ideology is institutionalized it becomes, paradoxically, less visible – even to those who implement it.  The basic ideas are no longer apprehended or controverted, and hence it becomes easier to move further ...


February 26, 2015, 7:33 am, 1429424

You know the saying: the best defense is a good offense.


February 26, 2015, 7:33 am, 1429423

Jennifer Rubin at the Washington Post lists ten.

Maggie Gallagher, on the other hand, isn't impressed yet.


February 26, 2015, 7:33 am, 1429422

Made me laugh, particularly #6 and #9.


February 26, 2015, 7:33 am, 1429421

By Michael Goodwin, New York Post. Very unfortunately, the headline is not overstated.

Reports that President Obama agrees Iran should be free to make a nuclear bomb in about 10 years put the lie to his repeated vow never to allow an Iranian nuke. The broken promise ...


February 26, 2015, 7:03 am, 1429384

The Wall Street Journal’s Daily Report on Global Central Banks for Thursday, February 26, 2015:

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


Highlights

Hilsenrath’s Take: That Didn’t Go Well, Madame Chair Fed’s Yellen Fends Off Charges of Partisan ...


February 26, 2015, 7:03 am, 1429383

As econoblog readers, we follow Econbrowser pretty regularly, mainly for Jim Hamilton's insights, but recently, we've begun paying closer attention ...


February 26, 2015, 6:44 am, 1429382
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February 26, 2015, 6:44 am, 1429381
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February 26, 2015, 6:35 am, 1429380
● Yellen: Economic Future Doesn’t Pivot on Full Employment | MNI ● U.S. new home sales steady near multi-year highs | Reuters ● German consumer confidence at 13-year high despite crises | WaPo ● German Unemployment Rate Remains At Record Low | RTT ● US Mortgage Apps Continue Falling Despite ...


February 26, 2015, 5:24 am, 1429378

Photo Credit: Roscoe Ellis

I was reading an occasional blast email from my friend Tom Brakke, when he mentioned a free publication from Redington, a UK asset management firm that employs actuaries, among others. I was ...


February 26, 2015, 5:03 am, 1429323

February 26, 2015, 4:05 am, 1429322

I’ve been receiving numerous requests for more of my “totally conventional views,” and someone asked me about HRC.  We’ve never covered her in the past, so why not?  But by construction of this series, none of what follows is at all new and probably there won’t be any ...


February 26, 2015, 4:04 am, 1429321
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