Wednesday, August 31, 2011

The Economics of Paying for Disaster Relief

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Glaeser on Mortgage Modification

Ed concludes,
A massive refinancing effort is likely to have little impact on the economy or foreclosures or housing prices. What it would do, however, is hurt our government’s already precarious balance sheet by reducing the payments on its vast mortgage portfolio.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Alan Krueger to chair CEA

Congratulations, Alan.  An excellent choice by President Obama.

Update: Some comments of mine on CNBC:

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Finally, some good economic news

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Auctioning Public Parking Spaces

A student alerts me to this article about a new app that connects suppliers and demanders of public parking spaces. 

How to interpret this story?  The student points out that it is a "fun example of technology making markets more efficient."  True enough.  But it also suggests that cities are underpricing public parking.  With many cities facing financial difficulties, a good way to raise revenue would be to increase the price of parking closer to the market-clearing level.

Friday, August 26, 2011

An Animated 4-Minute History of Econ

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Jeff Miron on Capitalism

Sunday, August 21, 2011


Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Economics Teaching Conference

I will be speaking in New Orleans at this conference in October.  Click through if you are an economics instructor and may be interested in attending.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Showing Up in Unexpected Places

One of my textbooks appears in this music video. See if you can find it. If you need a hint, it is this edition.

Monday, August 15, 2011

A Reading for the Pigou Club

British Columbia institutes a carbon tax, cuts income taxes, and everybody is happy.  (If you are new to this blog and haven't heard me on this topic, click here.)

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Coy or Nuanced?

This post from Noahpinion is amusing.  He ties himself in knots with the apparent goal of labeling me a hypocrite on the issue of fiscal stimulus.

In fact, if you read my recent writings about fiscal stimulus (in order, here, here, here, here, and here), you will find that I have never asserted that the Obama stimulus was a complete failure in expanding aggregate demand.  Instead, I have suggested that there might well have been much better ways to promote recovery. The last article in the list above, soon to be published in the Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, concludes that from a welfare standpoint, "conventional fiscal policy is the demand management tool of last resort."  In other words, in that model, conventional fiscal policy is effective, but it is still not the best tool to take off the shelf when facing a collapse in aggregate demand.

Some may think I am being coy.  I consider myself nuanced and open-minded.  Read the articles at the links above and judge for yourself.

Tuesday, August 09, 2011

I talk to Larry Kudlow

Monday, August 08, 2011

I talk to Reuters

Saturday, August 06, 2011

Former Fed Officials Opine

Federal Nondefense Spending (% of GDP)

Click on graphic in enlarge.  Source.

Thursday, August 04, 2011

Rogoff on the Great Contraction

Monday, August 01, 2011

An Externality

I am spending a few days at the Jersey shore, where my mother lives. Sitting on the beach with my younger son this afternoon, I watched a small prop plane fly by parallel to the coastline. As is common around here, it was dragging a sign behind it. Usually, these aerial signs are advertisements for restaurants and other local attractions. This one, however, read as follows:

Lacy, Will you marry me? Kyle.

My first thought: How charming!

My second thought: I hope there is not another couple named Lacy and Kyle sitting on the beach this afternoon.