Comment of the Day: "But if you're at The Founding Farmer...:
...the important question is not the AC but whether you have tried the maple-pepper glazed bacon. Really.
Comment of the Day: Gillian Brunet: "But if you're at The Founding Farmer...
...the important question is not the AC but whether you have tried the maple-pepper glazed bacon. Really.
Over at Equitable Growth: Me, during the discussion of: Chang-Tai Hsieh and Zheng (Michael) Song: Grasp the Large, Let Go of the Small: The Transformation of the State Sector in China
Bradford DeLong admitted that the more good papers on China he has read the more uneasy he has become--and the less he feels he understands.
One of the few historical patterns to repeat itself with regularity over the past three centuries has been that, wherever governments are unable to make the allocation of property and contract rights stick, industrialization never reaches North Atlantic levels of productivity. Sometimes the benefits of entrepreneurship are skimmed off by roving thieves. Sometimes economic growth stalls. Or sometimes profits are skimmed by local notables, who abuse what ought to be the state’s powers for their own ends.
Over at Equitable Growth: About every 10 years since 1975, I have forecast a reversion of China's economic growth rate to the standard pattern of hesitant and, at best, slow convergence to the United States frontier. A great deal of China super-growth has seemed to me to be catch-up to the norm one would expect given East Asian societal-organizational capabilities, a norm below which China had been depressed by the misgovernment of the Qing, the civil wars of the first half of the twentieth century, the Japanese conquest, and the manifold disasters of Mao Zedong's Parkinson's Disease. The rest has seemed to me to be due to luck, and to China's ability to apply the standard Hamiltonian gaining-manufacturing-technological-capability-through-exports on a world-historical scale and thus reap economies of scale from the doing. READ MOAR
Noah Smith: Star Trek Economics: Life After the Dismal Science: "I grew up watching 'Star Trek: The Next Generation' (easily the best of the Star Trek shows)...
...There’s one big, obvious thing missing from the future society depicted in the program. No one is doing business. There is almost no one buying and selling, except for a few species for whom commerce is a form of traditional religion. Food and luxuries are free, provided by ‘replicators’.... Scarcity... seems to have been eliminated. Is this really the future? Is it possible? Is it something we want?... Current world annual gross domestic product per capita, in purchasing power parity terms, is only about $13,000--enough to put food on the table and a roof over one’s head. What happens when it is $100,000, or $200,000? It would seem ridiculous to limit this incredible plenty to a few people. When the world gets rich enough, a trivial tax on the rich would be enough to provide everyone on Earth with a basic income that would allow them to lead lives of leisure.... READ MOAR:
Over at Equitable Growth: On about four of the seven days in a week, my view is that the problems lumped under the heading of "secular stagnation" are primarily monetary-financial problems. Now comes Barry Eichengreen to review the case that these problems are at their root instead of also technological-fundamental. And I must say he has raised the frequency of my view that the problems are primarily monetary-financial from four days a week to five. READ MOAR
Must-Watch: Really, really bad news for the American economy. Alan Krueger concludes that we are now near "full employment" in a monetary policy-Federal Reserve-inflation sense. The implications? The implications are:
Alan Krueger: Labor Force Participation: <(https://vimeo.com/134932856)>:
Via Mark Thoma.
Over at Equitable Growth: Last month the sharp and hard-working Jeff Spross wrote:
Jeff Spross: Why Americans Are so nostalgic About the Manufacturing Industry: "The U.S. still manufactures a lot of stuff, but most of it isn't stuff average American consumers buy...
...These days, we mostly make heavy industrial equipment, circuitry, aircraft, and other big and expensive goods and high-end products.... A lot of manufacturing went overseas... so we get imports for a lower cost, which improves our standard of living. People in other, less developed nations get new jobs, which... improves theirs. A win-win, theoretically speaking. Same goes for rising automation.... But the 1950s economy was also a delicately balanced ecosystem... where wages were good, health and pension benefits... plentiful... job security was high....
Globalization gave certain interests and centers of power in our society the wedge and hammer.... Unions became far weaker, business owners and management got much freer hands, and worker bargaining power collapsed. The economic benefits... weren't broadly shared.... Other Western countries also endured globalization, but managed to keep their levels of inequality lower.... If we'd found some sort of alternative economic strategy for producing those same results, it's unlikely voters or politicians would be nostalgically lamenting any [manufacturing] decline. READ MOAR
Today's Economic History: Trevon Logan: The Transformation of Hunger Revisited: Reply: "The higher [early industrial] calorie levels reported in Gazeley, Newell, Bezabith (2015)...
...are a function of a conversion of food quantities to calories that is weighted towards contemporary, calorie-rich foods. Their conversion uses the full distribution of contemporary foods and should not be applied to historical populations. Since Gazeley, Newell, Bezabith assume that industrial workers in the past had access to contemporary foods, the revised calorie levels reflect contemporary diets rather than historical diets.
Live from Bullwinkle Plaza: Ted Miguel is 1... 2... 3... 4... 5... 6... 7... 8... 9... 10... 11... 12... 13... offices down the hall. So be warned!
My take on this is the same as the very sharp and very hard working Chris Blattman's: http://chrisblattman.com/2015/07/23/dear-journalists-and-policymakers-what-you-need-to-know-about-the-worm-wars/ http://chrisblattman.com/2015/07/24/the-10-things-i-learned-in-the-trenches-of-the-worm-wars/
J. Bradford DeLong on July 28, 2015 at 08:36 PM in Berkeley, Economics: Growth, Economics: Health, Economics: Inequality, Information: Better Press Corps/Journamalism, Information: Internet, Streams: Across the Wide Missouri, Streams: Economics, Streams: Equitable Growth | Permalink | Comments (4)
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Must-Read: The very thoughtful and sharp Mark Thoma has swung around to thinking that, with the right student body, online education can do 60% of the job of the residential university campus for... 10%? 5%? of the non-student-time-and-effort cost. Of course, the principal cost is still student time and effort...
Mark Thoma: 12 Good and Bad Parts of Online Education: "I was initially very skeptical about the claims being made about online education...
Comment of the Day: Ryan: Notes on "Trekonomics"...: "In Star Trek, as in the Culture series, work still occurs...
...But the idea is that work is geared toward improving oneself and making the world better. It's service. I doubt this is the likeliest outcome, as there is a thread in human nature that manifests itself in exploitation of others for reasons that go beyond the economic...
Daniel Davies: What would the German export sector look like?: "German Economic Thought and the European Crisis...
...What would the German export sector look like?
Just consider what the state of Germany’s export sector would be right now if Germany were not part of the euro, and had the real exchange rate of Switzerland.’
I’ve considered it, and I think the answer is actually ‘more or less the same’.
Lant Pritchett (2014): Can Rich Countries be Reliable Partners for National Development?:
"Time and time again I have seen NGOs and politicians in rich countries advocate that the poor follow a path that they, the rich, never have followed, nor are willing to follow." -John Briscoe (1948-2014), in memoriam.
FORTY-three years ago, the then-President of the World Bank, Robert McNamara, went to Somalia. As a partner in that country’s attempts at development in 1972, the World Bank pledged a loan of $32 million to build a port in the capital Mogadishu. The port was built and, while development went off track into conflict, the port still exists, still operates, and generates what few resources the struggling Somali state controls. Building a port was welcomed and seen by all as core to the mission of the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development, one of the five institutions that make up the World Bank Group.
Matthew Yglesias: America's 10 biggest cities, in every decade going back to 1790:
Live from Hutchinson, Kansas: Walter Jon Williams: Glorious Sights of Kansas (Volume 1): "Anyway, if Dorothy were in Kansas she’d be able to look at space capsules and an SR-71 Blackbird and many other aerospace goodies...
...that is if Dorothy were in Hutchinson, where the Cosmosphere is. The Cosmosphere was the creation of a determined local woman named Patty Corey, who loved astronomy and aerospace and began what started as a planetarium and astronomy museum, but which now has some pretty amazing exhibits.... The Cosmosphere isn’t very big, but they make efficient use of the space they’ve got, which means their SR-71 is hung in a nose-down attitude in order to squeeze it into the lobby. In the basement there is Gus Grissom’s Liberty Bell 7, which when a child I watched on live TV as it plunged to the ocean bottom, fortunately without Grissom in it...
Live from El Paso: Patrick Iber**: Essay on a Long Academic Job Search: "not all of the attention the essay received was positive...
Must-Read: Noah Smith: His Latest John Cochrane Smackdown: Free-Market Ideology and the Burden of Proof: "John writes: 'My surprise in reading Noah is that he provided no alternative numbers...
...If you don't think Free Market Nirvana will have 4% growth, at least for a decade as we remove all the level inefficiencies, how much do you think it will produce, and how solid is that evidence?...
Live from La Farine: Theodoric of York, Medieval Eurozone Technocrat:
Live from La Farine: Ben Adler**: Rick Perry stole my urbanist talking points. Too bad he doesn’t actually understand them: "As David Graham of The Atlantic noted...
...Perry’s big speech on race last week had a section that sounded as if it could have been written by yours truly:
In blue-state coastal cities, you have these strict zoning laws, environmental regulations that have prevented buildings from expanding the housing supply. And that may be great for the venture capitalist who wants to keep a nice view of San Francisco Bay. But it’s not so great for the single mother working two jobs in order to pay rent and still put food on the table for her kids...
Over at Equitable Growth: Introduction
Olivier Blanchard, when he parachuted me into this panel, asked me to “be provocative”.
So let me provoke:
My assigned focus on “fiscal policy in the medium term” has implications. It requires me to assume that things are or will be true that are not now or may not be true in the future, at least not for the rest of this and into the next decade. It makes sense to distinguish the medium from the short term only if the North Atlantic economies will relatively soon enter a régime in which the economy is not at the zero lower bound on safe nominal interest rates. The medium term is at a horizon at which monetary policy can adequately handle all of the demand-stabilization role. READ MOAR
Well, this morning gives me--me, who was a profound Hillary Rodham Clinton skeptic after 1993-1994--yet one more very powerful reason to think that Hillary Rodham Clinton would make a much better president than J.E.B. Bush:
Back when I read Jeb Bush's Detroit "Economic Policy" speech, the thing that most astonished me was how thin it was. 3088 words. And yet the things that could count as federal economic policy proposals were few. It read not as a federal economic policy speech, but rather as a simulacrum of a federal economic policy speech spoken by somebody who really didn't know what a federal economic policy speech was--a cargo-cult airfield rather than a real World War II-era Pacific military aviation base.
Instead of policy proposals and directions, there were a lot pieces of what could even politely only be called fluff.
Across the Wide Missouri: New York Comic Con: October 8-11, 2015 | Javits Center:
Over at Equitable Growth: Angel Ubide writes:
"Pre-Syriza growth" would return Greek GDP to its 1975-1999 trend... never.
"Pre-Syriza growth" was at a pace that would not return Greek real GDP to the 2007 level of the 1975-1999 trend (if you think that was Greece's "real" potential output in 2007) until... 2023. READ MOAR
Arthur Goldhammer: The Old Continent Creaks: Austerity and the failures of the technocratic elite have created the current populist backlash. France’s experience is instructive—and, possibly, ominous:
What’s the matter with Europe? Wherever one looks these days, there are signs of deep trouble. Economic growth has stagnated. Deflation threatens. Unemployment is rampant in many member states of the European Union. Support for the former mainstream parties of the center-right and center-left is waning. Populist parties of the far right and far left are on the rise. Anti-Islamic movements such as PEGIDA in Germany have attracted worrisome support, while in France the xenophobic National Front has topped all other parties in recent polls. Terrorist attacks by native-born citizens in Paris and Copenhagen have raised fears that the social fabric has irreparably deteriorated—fears compounded by the flight of several thousand young Europeans to join the Islamic State in Syria. And to top it all off, Ukraine has been racked by civil war and threatened with disintegration since Russian-backed separatists rejected the rule of the government in Kiev.
Comment of the Day: Charles Steindel: State-Level Fiscal Policy: "Well, yes, taxes aren't the largest factor in location decisions...
...but of that list, which can state governments fairly readily control?
The thoughtful Matthew Klein, over at FT Alphaville:
Matthew Klein: The changing nature of Americans’ income: "Consider what this has meant for consumption...
Think are intellectual property protections are insufficiently strong?
Five years ago I put a tickler in to see what would happen to this. Glad to see that sanity reigned after all:
Live from Sandbridge Beach: Invictus: Red State, Blue State: Kansas & Washington: "We have interesting experiments going on in the state of Kansas and the city of Seattle...
Comment of the Day: James Wimberley: Premier Je Suis, Second Je Fus, Mouton Ne Change: "I can't resist quoting François Villon's puff...
...for Chateau Balestard la Tonnelle, on the other side:
bottlerocketscience: Startup Geometry Podcast EP 004: Brad DeLong:
J. Bradford DeLong on June 17, 2015 at 12:49 PM in Economics: Finance, Economics: Growth, Economics: History, Economics: Inequality, Economics: Information, Economics: Macro, Long Form, Philosophy: Moral, Political Economy, Politics, Science Fiction, Streams: (BiWeekly) Honest Broker, Streams: Cycle, Streams: DeLong FAQ, Streams: Economics, Streams: Equitable Growth, Streams: Highlighted | Permalink | Comments (1)
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Live from the Garonne Estuary: Château Mouton Rothschild
Suppose you were heading from Bordeaux to London in the twelfth century by sea.
Suppose wanted to stop someplace to pick up something to use as ballast.
Where would you stop?
Yep. You would stop at what is now Château Mouton Rothschild on the left bank of the Garonne. That is the ideal place to stop, pick up whatever blast you need for ship stability, and rebalance your cargo before you head out beyond Isle de Cordouan into the waves of the North Atlantic.
What do you think the chances are that the best place in the world to grow grapes for making claret--the place with the absolute-best, ahem, terroir--just happens to also be the ideal place to pick up ballast for the Bordeaux-London voyage?
And, in fact, what are the odds that the sea-run ballast pick-up point would just happen to be for Bordeaux-London? That the sea run would be that between the capital of the lands that Eleanor d'Acquitaine brought to the Angevin Empire and the London capital and court of Henri II de Plantagenet?
"But what about the Burgundies?" you ask. Had not the Dukes of Burgundy managed to acquire overlordship of the seventeen provinces at the mouths of the Meuse and the Rhine, Burgundy would be nowhere. And the great days of the Burgundian court came to an end with the death of Charles the Rash...
Over at Equitable Growth: The Past Two Decades: The Coming of the Information Economy Looks to Have Doubled Our True Rate of Economic Growth
Over at Bloomberg View, smart young whippersnapper Noah Smith weighs in on the relationship between measured GDP at factor cost and societal well-being--including consumer surplus--in the information age:
Via Arthur Goldhammer:
Alexis de Tocqueville: Democracy in America: 2.10: (Democracy in America I.2.10): "Nowadays the dispossession of the Indians...
...is often accomplished in a routine and—one might say—perfectly legal manner.
Over at Equitable Growth: The sharp Tyler Cowen writes:
Tyler Cowen: Has fiscal conservatism met an impasse at the state level?: "The latest from Louisiana is that taxes are going up...
...but in a strange way that won’t be called a tax increase.... It is even weirder than that sounds. Combine that with the recent fiasco in Kansas.... Fiscal conservatism has been stymied at the state level... for many other states, especially those governed by Republicans.... Trying to cut taxes at the state level doesn’t seem like a useful or productive way forward. If you have a better revisionist take on Louisiana and Kansas, please do put it in the comments, I would gladly read it, and if you have something really good I will pass it along. But I see myself as stating what has to be the default hypothesis for the time being--should we not all come out and admit this? READ MOAR
Scott Gosnell: Brad Delong on the TPP: "In this short preview of my interview with economist Brad Delong...
...we discuss the economic and social impact of the trade deals currently being negotiated by the US Trade Representative, including the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP), Trade Promotion Authority and related bills under consideration in Congress this month. The full interview will be available next week...
Scott Gosnell: Let me ask about the Trans-Pacific Partnership and other trade deal that are going on right now. What do you think of them?
Over at Equitable Growth: Can somebody please tell me what is going on? What happened with the Obama administration and its making the case for the TPP?
I am what Paul Krugman calls "Davos Man" to a substantial degree--a card-carrying neoliberal, a believer in globalization and free trade, someone who has seen more than enough of the stupidities of places like Berkeley and so doesn't mind hippy-punching now and then. As a believer in free-trade, in the importance of harmonizing global economic regulation, and in getting intellectual and general property rights right, I ought to be a very strong technocratic advocate for the TPP. Yet I found myself having major questions about it: READ MOAR
J. Bradford DeLong :: University of California at Berkeley
Let me begin by thanking Matt Rognlie for doing some very serious and thoughtful digging into this set of factor-payments data. That digging leaves me in an ideal position for a discussant: There are interesting and important numbers. These numbers have not been put together in this way before. The author is wise enough not to believe he has nailed what the numbers mean to the floor. Thus I am in an excellent position to, if not add intellectual value, at least to claim a lavish intellectual-rent share of Matt Rognlie's product.
J. Bradford DeLong on June 12, 2015 at 11:06 AM in Economics: Growth, Economics: History, Economics: Inequality, Economics: Macro, Long Form, Political Economy, Politics, Streams: (BiWeekly) Honest Broker, Streams: (Wednesday) Economic History, Streams: Economics, Streams: Equitable Growth, Streams: Highlighted | Permalink | Comments (10)
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Over at Equitable Growth: I found myself debating Tom Davis--a very smart and well-trained professional--on Bloomberg TV last Friday, on the occasion of the monthly employment report. I did better than I had expected, probably because we are both on the same side of the technocratic "we badly need to do more for infrastructure" issue: READ MOAR
This month's employment report--in fact, the last few months' employment reports--should not lead us to change our minds about anything. What did you think three months ago? You should think the same thing now. Information about the changing destiny of the economy drips out only slowly. And so your view should change only slowly
What should you have thought three months ago? Eight things:
Over at Project Syndicate: Putting Economic Models in Their Place:
Among the voices calling these days for new--or at least substantially different--economic thinking http://ineteconomics.org is the very sharp Paul M. Romer http://paulromer.net/ of New York University, with his critique of what he calls "Mathiness" in modern economics http://paulromer.net/mathiness/. He seems, to me at least, to be very worried principally about two aspects of modern economic discourse. The first is to take what is true about one restricted class of theories and generalize it, claiming it is true of all theories and of the world as well.
Over at Equitable Growth: Kenneth Rogoff: Inequality, Immigration, and Hypocrisy: "Europe’s migration crisis exposes a fundamental flaw, if not towering hypocrisy, in the ongoing debate about economic inequality...
And Kenneth Rogoff fakes right:
Wouldn’t a true progressive support equal opportunity for all people on the planet, rather than just for those of us lucky enough to have been born and raised in rich countries? READ MOAR
J. Bradford DeLong on May 20, 2015 at 03:00 PM in Economics: Growth, Economics: Inequality, Economics: Macro, Moral Responsibility, Philosophy: Moral, Political Economy, Politics, Streams: Economics, Streams: Equitable Growth, Streams: Highlighted, Twentieth Century Economic History | Permalink | Comments (16)
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Over at Equitable Growth: I see that over on the Twitter machine Noah Smith is engaging Paul Romer, in an attempt to get Paul to elucidate his "Mathiness" paper. I think Noah Smith misunderstands Paul Romer.
As I see it, Paul Romer believes that George Stigler laid down the methodological principal that one should always assume perfect competition in one's microfoundations, and in so doing Stigler was acting as an ideologue rather than a technocrat, and that this is harmful.
It seems to me that Paul is more right than wrong.
A POLICY AGENDA FOR THE KNOWLEDGE ECONOMY
- Policy debate dominated by discussions of ‘reform’
- Policy agenda set in 1980s >* Irrelevant or counterproductive today
- We need a 21st century policy agenda
- Previous reform era provides a way to think about this.
Over at Equitable Growth]1 Today's best piece I have read on the internet is by the extremely sharp John Quiggin:
John Quiggin: The Last Gasp of (US) [Left-]Neoliberalism: "US neoliberalism is... closer to Blair’s Third Way than to Thatcher....
...[US] neoliberalism maintained and even extended ‘social liberalism’, in the US sense of support for equal marriage, reproductive choice and so on. In economic terms, its central claim was that the goals of the New Deal... could best be pursued through market-friendly policies that would earn the support of the financial sector.... [The] signature issues for US neoliberals were free trade, cuts in ‘entitlement’ spending, and school reform... a ‘grand bargain’, in which Republicans would accept minimal increases in taxation in return for the abandonment of most of the Democratic program. The Clinton administration was explicitly neoliberal.... And, while Obama’s 2008 election campaign was masterfully ambiguous, his first Administration neoliberal through and through.... But developments since then, including the global financial crisis, the failure of school reform and increasing awareness of entrenched inequality have destroyed the appeal of neoliberalism...
I think that John Quiggin is largely correct--if you correct "abandonment" to "reconfiguration". READ MOAR