- Nick Bunker: The silver lining in the uneven housing recovery | Washington Center for Equitable Growth
- Carter Price: Miscalculating the wealth of the rich reveals unintended biases | Washington Center for Equitable Growth
- Carter Price: Are wealth and income inequality increasing? | Washington Center for Equitable Growth
- Comment on: Ayako Saiki and Jon Frost: "How Does Unconventional Monetary Policy Affect Inequality? Evidence from Japan": Wednesday Focus for August 14, 2014 | Washington Center for Equitable Growth
- Nighttime Must-Read: Paul Ryan (2011): The Path to Prosperity | Washington Center for Equitable Growth
- Evening Must-Read: Tim Duy: Heading Into Jackson Hole | Washington Center for Equitable Growth
- The Failure of Demand Management Policy since 2007...: Evening Comment | Washington Center for Equitable Growth
- Morning Must-Read: Jeff Faux: The Neoliberal Mind at Work: Brad DeLong’s Muddled Defense of NAFTA | Washington Center for Equitable Growth
- Yet Another Note on Mont Pelerin: Thinking Some More About Bob Solow's View... | Washington Center for Equitable Growth
- Morning Must-Read: Margaret Sullivan: On Alexandra Alter, Craig Shirley, and Rick Perlstein | Washington Center for Equitable Growth
Must- and Shall-Reads:
Margaret Sullivan: On Alexandra Alter, Craig Shirley, and Rick Perlstein: Was an Accusation of Plagiarism Really a Political Attack? "There’s a problem here. An article about polarized reaction to a high-profile book is, of course, fair game. But the attention given to the plagiarism accusation is not. Yes, the claim was 'out there' but so are smears of all kinds as well as claims that the earth is flat and that climate change is unfounded..... By taking it seriously, The Times conferred a legitimacy on the accusation.... And while it is true that Mr. Perlstein and his publisher were given plenty of opportunity to respond, that doesn’t help much.... The Times is saying: Here’s an accusation; here’s a denial; and, heck, we don’t really know.... Readers frequently complain to me about this he said, she said false equivalency — and for good reason. So I’m with the critics. The Times article amplified a damaging accusation of plagiarism without establishing its validity and doing so in a way that is transparent to the reader. The standard has to be higher."
Jeff Faux: The Neoliberal Mind at Work: Brad DeLong’s Muddled Defense of NAFTA The election of 1988... stolen by the U.S.-backed 'winner' Carlos Salinas, revealed widespread resistance among the Mexican electorate. Protecting the rights of foreign capital in an international treaty... was designed to put the neo-liberal regime beyond the reach of Mexican democracy. DeLong seems to know there was an ugly American politics to NAFTA. In an aside he says he now agrees that Mexico’s energies would have been better put to a development strategy. Unfortunately, it’s a little late. This was the reason Mexican progressives opposed NAFTA. When I raised it during the debate, NAFTA-backers responded that this was exactly the kind of 'statist' thinking they had to crush. During the congressional debate, Clinton’s U.S. Trade Representative blurted out to me that 'we have to keep the Left out of power down there'. While Cuauhtémoc Cardenas was trying to save Mexico’s capacity for self-development, DeLong was busy helping Rubin, Clinton, and the U.S. Business Roundtable do all they could to make it impossible. NAFTA was not some default 'second-best' policy; it was designed to kill the first-best..."
Tim Duy: Heading into Jackson Hole: "The Kansas City Federal Reserve's annual Jackson Hole conference is next week.... A dovish path... the conference title itself--"Re-Evaluating Labor Market Dynamics"--points in that direction, as it emphasizes a topic that is near and dear to Yellen's heart.... Today we received the June JOLTS report... another gain in job openings, leading to further speculation that labor slack is quickly diminishing. Anecdotally, firms are squealing that they can't find qualified workers. Empirically, though, they aren't willing to raise wages.... A 'peculiar form of logic' indeed, but one that appears endemic to US employers nonetheless. Meanwhile, from Business Insider: 'Profit margins are still getting wider.... The nightmare scenario she wants to avoid is hiking rates only to see financial markets and the economy take such a hit that she has to backtrack. Until the Fed has gotten rates up from the current level near zero to more normal levels, it would have little room to respond if the economy threatened to head into another recession.' Gasp! Is the reality of the zero bound finally sinking in at the Fed?... The Fed needs to at least risk overshooting to pull interest rates into a zone that allows for normalized monetary policy during the next recession.... Yellen can point out that since the disinflation of the early 90's, the Fed has not faced an inflation problem, but instead has struggled with three recessions. This on the surface suggests that monetary policy has erred in being too tight on average.... Anything other than a dovish message coming from the Jackson Hole conference will be a surprise..."
Paul Ryan (2011): The Path to Prosperity: "Autopilot spending will soon crowd out all other priorities in the federal budget, with spending on Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security and interest on the national debt eclipsing all anticipated revenue by 2025. Borrowing and spending by the public sector will crowd out investment and growth in the private sector.... Americans face the most predictable economic crisis in this nation’s history. Absent reform, the panic ahead is no longer a question of if, but rather when. A deterioration of confidence by investors in government’s ability to pay its bills will drive interest rates up, increasing borrowing costs for government, small businesses and families alike. A vicious cycle of debt will compound upon itself; the available exit options once the crisis hits will be limited; and all will involve pain..."
Jessica Wolpaw Reyes: Lead Exposure and Behavior: Effects on Antisocial and Risky Behavior among Children and Adolescents: "It is well known that exposure to lead has numerous adverse effects on behavior and development. Using data on two cohorts of children from the NLSY, this paper investigates the effect of early childhood lead exposure on behavior problems from childhood through early adulthood. I find large negative consequences of early childhood lead exposure, in the form of an unfolding series of adverse behavioral outcomes: behavior problems as a child, pregnancy and aggression as a teen, and criminal behavior as a young adult. At the levels of lead that were the norm in United States until the late 1980s, estimated elasticities of these behaviors with respect to lead range between 0.1 and 1.0."
Mark Thoma: Why Do Macroeconomists Disagree? "The lack of a consensus within the profession on the economics of the Great Recession, one of the most significant economic events in recent memory, provides a window into the state of macroeconomics.... If you ask macroeconomists what caused the crisis... some will argue it was lack of regulation of the financial sector, others will cite the buildup up of household debt driven by stagnating middle class incomes. Still others will argue the Fed was at fault for holding interest rates too low for too long and fueling the housing bubble. You will also hear that it was a case of financial innovation gone awry.... Even stories that have been thoroughly debunked are still cited by some, for example the argument that it was all caused by government’s attempt to increase homeownership among lower income households.... Economists also disagree about why the crisis was so severe.... One group... argues that the crisis would have been just as bad even if the financial sector hadn’t had such severe problems.... And when it comes to explaining why the recovery has been so slow, there is also – surprise – little agreement.... Why can’t we agree?.... One reason is... the non-experimental nature of the data.... Even when the econometric models do give clear answers, those answers are often ignored in the public debate... due, in large part, to economists who are willing to ignore clear empirical evidence in order to sow confusion and promote ideological goals, and the culture within the profession that does little to penalize such behavior. If we don’t have the ability to settle debates decisively with empirical evidence, then each side will retain its beliefs and preconceptions.... We can’t stop the charlatans and cranks from speaking out, but we can do a much better job of labeling them as such when they do."
Brad Hershbein: More Education = Delayed Fertility = More Mobility? "One of our most striking findings is the recent and dramatic divergence in resources of children between more and less educated mothers.... Better-educated women have always given birth later than less-educated women, but this gap widened considerably for women born after World War II.... This growing gap means that the material resources available to children with better educated mothers would be greater than they used to be even if incomes were not rising faster for the college educated (which they are)..."
- Thoreau: "I think it is appropriate to judge a society or a state in part on how it treats its minorities.... The Kurds have apparently taken huge risks to rescue Yazidis trapped on a mountain.... If we absolutely must take a side in a Middle Eastern dispute, there are liberal arguments for siding with the Kurds of Iraq."
- Sam Ro: Fed Vice Chair Fischer Has Made Very Clear Where He Sits on the Hawk-Dove Scale
- Mike Konczal: Big Business's Frenemy in the White House
- Robert Scott: Brad Delong’s Case for NAFTA: Based on Assumptions, Not on Data
- Marc Lynch: Would arming Syria’s rebels have stopped the Islamic State?
- Anat R. Admati et al.: Fallacies, Irrelevant Facts, and Myths in the Discussion of Capital Regulation: Why Bank Equity is Not Socially Expensive
- Anat Admati et al.: The Parade of the Bankers’ New Clothes Continues: 28 Flawed Claims Debunked
- Jason Zengerle: The New Racism: The Civil Rights Movement Is Going in Reverse in Alabama
- Robert Cieri: Did Lower Testosterone Help Civilize Humanity?
And Over Here:
- PLEASE CONTRIBUTE NOW!! Democrat Lianne Thompson (Clatsop County (OR) Commission Special Election) (Brad DeLong's Grasping Reality...)
- Over at Equitable Growth: Comment on: Ayako Saiki and Jon Frost: "How Does Unconventional Monetary Policy Affect Inequality? Evidence from Japan" (Brad DeLong's Grasping Reality...)
- Liveblogging the American Revolution: August 13, 1776: George Washington's Outgoing Correspondence (Brad DeLong's Grasping Reality...)
- Milton Friedman, Friedrich Hayek, Augusto Pinochet, and Hu Jintao: Authoritarian Liberalism vs. Liberal Authoritarianism: Wednesday Hoisted from the Archives (Brad DeLong's Grasping Reality...)
- Over at Equitable Growth: Yet Another Note on Mont Pelerin: Thinking Some More About Bob Solow's View... (Brad DeLong's Grasping Reality...)
Should Be Aware of:
Geoff Pender: McDaniel lists own lawyer as irregular vote: "As Chris McDaniel's team continues to scour voting records to add to an expected legal challenge of his loss to Thad Cochran, it has listed McDaniel's lead lawyer in the challenge, and his wife, as irregular votes that should be tossed out.... Tyner and his wife, Sloane Tyner, were flagged by a McDaniel volunteer as 'CROSSOVER/IRREGULAR VOTING' in one of the affidavits claiming problems with Madison County voting. The affidavit says that with Tyner and his wife's votes, records showed 'voted written in margin and on June 24'..."
David Glasner: Raghu Rajan Misunderstands (Totally!) Currency Devaluations: "Rajan is... totally clueless about the role of monetary policy and the art of central banking in combating depressions.... [His] notion that competitive currency devaluations in the Great Depression were a zero-sum game is fallacy, an influential fallacy to be sure, but a fallacy nonetheless... [and] a highly dangerous fallacy.... The classic refutation... was provided on numerous occasions by R. G. Hawtrey..."
Caitlin MacNeal: Huckabee Clarifies He 'Never' Said Obama Should Be Impeached: "Last week, he told Iowa radio host Steve Deace that Obama 'has done plenty of things worthy of impeachment.' But... Saturday, Huckabee said.... 'Let me be very clear. I never said he should be impeached. In fact I was explicitly clear. As often is the case, only half of what I said got quoted. I was asked the specific question: Had he committed impeachable offenses. And I said yes. But he's not going to be impeached, and he shouldn't be. Impeachment ought to be something that would be used in the rarest and most unusual of circumstances.'"
Ewen Callaway: Geneticists say popular book misrepresents research on human evolutiong "More than 130 leading population geneticists have condemned... A Troublesome Inheritance, by... Nicholas Wade.... 'It’s just a measure of how unified people are in their disdain for what was done with the field', says Michael Eisen... who helped to draft the letter.... 'This letter is driven by politics, not science', Wade said in a statement. 'I am confident that most of the signatories have not read my book and are responding to a slanted summary devised by the organizers'. Wade added that he had asked the letter’s authors... for a list of errors.... 'While Wade is obviously welcome to choose his quotes and observations, he consistently seems to ignore the caveats and cautions people lay out in their papers when they do not suit his ends', Coop says.... Sarah Tishkoff... says that the five clusters are somewhat arbitrary. In a 2009 study that included numerous African populations, her team found that 14 clusters (most of them composed of Africans) were a better explanation.... 'He’s claiming to be a spokesperson for the science and, no, he’s not', she says."