Links (6/23/19)


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Links (6/23/19)


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Links (6/17/19)


This post is by Mark Thoma from Economist's View


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Links (6/14/19)


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  • Is Labour’s fiscal policy rule neoliberal? – mainly macro That is the charge some on the left, particularly followers a movement called MMT, have laid against Labour's Fiscal Credibility Rule (FCR). MMT stands for nothing very informative, but it is a non-mainstream left-wing macroeconomic school of thought. Bill Mitchell, one of the leading lights of MMT, has run a relentless campaign against the FCR through his blog. As my own work with Jonathan Portes helped provide the intellectual foundation for the FCR, I will try and explain why I find the neoliberal charge nonsensical. …
  • Bill Mitchell's fantasy about Labour's fiscal rule – mainly macro My last post about outlandish attacks from some MMTers on Labour’s Fiscal Credibility Rule (FCR) was designed to be read by non-economists, and I didn’t want to bore them or waste space with all the fantasies Bill Mitchell has spread about the rule. But as I’ve

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Links (6/14/19)


This post is by Mark Thoma from Economist's View


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  • Is Labour’s fiscal policy rule neoliberal? – mainly macro That is the charge some on the left, particularly followers a movement called MMT, have laid against Labour's Fiscal Credibility Rule (FCR). MMT stands for nothing very informative, but it is a non-mainstream left-wing macroeconomic school of thought. Bill Mitchell, one of the leading lights of MMT, has run a relentless campaign against the FCR through his blog. As my own work with Jonathan Portes helped provide the intellectual foundation for the FCR, I will try and explain why I find the neoliberal charge nonsensical. …
  • Bill Mitchell's fantasy about Labour's fiscal rule – mainly macro My last post about outlandish attacks from some MMTers on Labour’s Fiscal Credibility Rule (FCR) was designed to be read by non-economists, and I didn’t want to bore them or waste space with all the fantasies Bill Mitchell has spread about the rule. But as I’ve

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Links (6/10/19)


This post is by Mark Thoma from Economist's View


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  • This time might not be different ~ Antonio Fatas Estimating the probability of a recession over a short horizon has so far proven to be a challenging task for economists. Each cycle looks slightly different from the previous one and trying to come up with precise indicators of crises leads to either overpredicting them or missing their timing as some risks are underestimated. As the US enters its longest expansion ever, we are back to a discussion on whether there are any reliable indicators that can help us forecast the next turning point. Without providing an exhaustive list of all candidates, let me highlight the interaction between three statistical patterns and how they inform us (or not) about the risks ahead: …
  • Mar-a-Lago Comes for British Health – Paul Krugman …last year he tweeted that Britons were marching in the streets to protest a health system that was “going broke

    Continue reading “Links (6/10/19)”

Links (6/10/19)


This post is by Mark Thoma from Economist's View


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  • This time might not be different ~ Antonio Fatas Estimating the probability of a recession over a short horizon has so far proven to be a challenging task for economists. Each cycle looks slightly different from the previous one and trying to come up with precise indicators of crises leads to either overpredicting them or missing their timing as some risks are underestimated. As the US enters its longest expansion ever, we are back to a discussion on whether there are any reliable indicators that can help us forecast the next turning point. Without providing an exhaustive list of all candidates, let me highlight the interaction between three statistical patterns and how they inform us (or not) about the risks ahead: …
  • Mar-a-Lago Comes for British Health – Paul Krugman …last year he tweeted that Britons were marching in the streets to protest a health system that was “going broke

    Continue reading “Links (6/10/19)”

Links (6/5/19)


This post is by Mark Thoma from Economist's View


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Links (6/5/19)


This post is by Mark Thoma from Economist's View


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Links (6/5/19)


This post is by Mark Thoma from Economist's View


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Links (5/31/19)


This post is by Mark Thoma from Economist's View


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Links (5/31/19)


This post is by Mark Thoma from Economist's View


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Links (5/28/19)


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  • Trump Tantrums the Dems Out of a Trap – Paul Krugman I gotta say, it was very clever of Nancy Pelosi to steal Donald Trump’s strawberries, pushing him over the edge into self-evident lunacy. As everyone knows, Trump stormed out of a meeting on infrastructure, apparently out of uncontrollable rage over Pelosi’s remarks pointing out that the administration’s stonewalling on all fronts, including raw defiance of the law requiring that it provide the president’s tax returns, obviously amount to a coverup of something (and maybe multiple things.) And Democrats should be grateful. …
  • Advertising as a major source of human dissatisfaction – VoxEU Although the negative impact of conspicuous consumption has been discussed for more than a century, the link between advertising and individual is not well understood. This column uses longitudinal data for 27 countries in Europe linking change in life satisfaction to variation in advertising spend. The results

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Links (5/28/19)


This post is by Mark Thoma from Economist's View


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  • Trump Tantrums the Dems Out of a Trap – Paul Krugman I gotta say, it was very clever of Nancy Pelosi to steal Donald Trump’s strawberries, pushing him over the edge into self-evident lunacy. As everyone knows, Trump stormed out of a meeting on infrastructure, apparently out of uncontrollable rage over Pelosi’s remarks pointing out that the administration’s stonewalling on all fronts, including raw defiance of the law requiring that it provide the president’s tax returns, obviously amount to a coverup of something (and maybe multiple things.) And Democrats should be grateful. …
  • Advertising as a major source of human dissatisfaction – VoxEU Although the negative impact of conspicuous consumption has been discussed for more than a century, the link between advertising and individual is not well understood. This column uses longitudinal data for 27 countries in Europe linking change in life satisfaction to variation in advertising spend. The results

    Continue reading “Links (5/28/19)”

Links (5/24/19)


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  • Raj Chetty’s plan to change how Harvard teaches economics – Vox
    Raj Chetty, a prominent faculty member whom Harvard recently poached back from Stanford, this spring unveiled “Economics 1152: Using Big Data to Solve Economic and Social Problems.” Taught with the help of lecturer Greg Bruich, the class garnered 375 students, including 363 undergrads, in its first term. That’s still behind the 461 in Ec 10 — but not by much.
  • Fiscal Policy Options for Japan – Blanchard and Tashiro
    For many years, the Japanese government has promised an eventual return to primary budget surpluses, but it has not delivered on these promises. Its latest goal is to return to primary balance by 2025. Blanchard and Tashiro, however, argue that, in the current economic environment in Japan, primary deficits may be needed for a long time, because they may be the best tool to sustain demand and output, alleviate

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Links (5/22/19)


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Links (5/20/19)


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  • Don’t Give Trump Too Much Credit for the Soaring Economy – Alan Blinder In recent weeks, any number of commentators have taken note of what might be called the “paradox of polling” under President Donald Trump. Specifically, the president gets high marks from the public for his handling of the economy but low approval ratings overall. That disjunction is unusual. Presidents normally get high approval ratings when the economy does well (think Bill Clinton’s second term) and low approval ratings when it does poorly (think George W. Bush’s second term). Yet in this, as in seemingly everything else, Mr. Trump is abnormal. The reasons are manifold and simple: He lies about almost everything, defies the law, violates the Constitution, disparages our foreign allies, stokes fear of immigrants, disses every American who is not in his base, carries on embarrassing bromances with murderous dictators like Vladimir Putin and Kim Jong Un,

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Links (5/16/19)


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  • There’s a revealing puzzle in the China tariffs – Larry Summers On Monday, China announced new tariffs on $60 billion of U.S. exports, and the United States threatened new tariffs on up to $300 billion of Chinese goods. These actions were cited as the principle reason for a decline of more than 600 points in the Dow Jones industrial average, or about 2.4 percent in broader measures of the stock market. With the total value of U.S. stocks around $30 trillion, this decline represents more than $700 billion in lost wealth. This was not an isolated event. Again and again in the past year, markets have gyrated in response to the state of trade negotiations between the United States and China. The market sensitivity to threats and counter-threats in the trade war is quite remarkable. Monday’s announcement by the Chinese, for example, would be expected to raise

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Links (5/13/19)


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  • Evolution or revolution: An afterword – Blanchard and Summers The changes in macroeconomic thinking prompted by the Great Depression and the Great Inflation of the 1970s were much more dramatic than have yet occurred in response to the events of the last decade. This column argues that this gap is likely to close in the next few years as a combination of low neutral rates, the re-emergence of fiscal policy as a primary stabilisation tool, difficulties in hitting inflation targets, and the financial ramifications of a low-rate environment lead to important changes in our understanding of the macroeconomy and in policy judgements about how to achieve the best performance.
  • Killing the Pax Americana – Paul Krugman O.K., they weren’t supposed to start the trade war until I got back from vacation. And I really have too many kilometers to cover and hills to climb to weigh in on

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Links (5/10/19)


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  • Trump Is Terrible for Rural America – Paul Krugman Economists, reports Politico, are fleeing the Agriculture Department’s Economic Research Service. Six of them resigned on a single day last month. The reason? They are feeling persecuted for publishing reports that shed an unflattering light on Trump policies. But these reports are just reflecting reality (which has a well-known anti-Trump bias). Rural America is a key part of Donald Trump’s base. In fact, rural areas are the only parts of the country in which Trump has a net positive approval rating. But they’re also the biggest losers under his policies. What, after all, is Trumpism? …
  • No Moore golden era for US monetary policy – VoxEU Stephen Moore, President Trump’s pick for the Federal Reserve Board, has been pro-cyclical in his recommendations for monetary policy, opposing stimulus when the economy needed it and favouring stimulus when the economy did not. This column

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