Friday, August 31, 2012

Live from Stockholm

Next week you can listen in on a Nobel symposium on growth and development and another conference on climate change.  For more information, click here.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Feldstein on the Romney Tax Plan

A Tax Level Cheat Sheet

A nice summary from Keith Hennessey:

  • Over the past 50 years federal taxes have averaged 18% of GDP.
  • Governor Romney proposes taxes “between 18 and 19 percent” of GDP.
  • The House-passed (“Ryan”) budget proposes long-term taxes of 19% of GDP.
  • President Obama’s budget proposes long-term taxes at 20% of GDP.
  • The Bowles-Simpson plan proposes long-term taxes at 21% of GDP.
  • Friday, August 24, 2012

    More Competition

    What is the best way to reduce the government's budget deficit?

    New research by Alberto Alesina, Carlo Favero, and Francesco Giavazzi suggests an answer:
    This paper studies whether fiscal corrections cause large output losses. We find that it matters crucially how the fiscal correction occurs. Adjustments based upon spending cuts are much less costly in terms of output losses than tax-based ones. Spending-based adjustments have been associated with mild and short-lived recessions, in many cases with no recession at all. Tax-based adjustments have been associated with prolonged and deep recessions.

    I am number 88

    ...on the Amazon list of bestselling books.  I believe it is the first time one of my texts has made it into the top 100.

    Monday, August 20, 2012

    Monkeys reject unequal pay

    Friday, August 17, 2012

    The Economist Platform

    NPR has a list of policies that economists across the political spectrum love.  It has some overlap with my list from few years back.

    Monday, August 13, 2012

    Romney Economics

    Here are several things to read on the topic:
    1. A white paper from economists advising Mitt Romney.
    2. An attack from Paul Krugman (natch).
    3. A response from John Taylor.
    Addendum: Here is a list of economists who support Romney.

    Saturday, August 11, 2012

    My Annual Field Trip

    Every year around this time, I take a trip to do an extensive study of economy of Nantucket.  As you might imagine, this activity requires large quantities of hard work and concentration sun screen.

    One implication is that I won't be blogging much until classes start up in September.  And if you are a reporter trying to get a quote for a story, sorry, but you are out of luck.

    Tuesday, August 07, 2012

    Academic Comic of the Day

    Click on graphic to enlarge.

    Monday, August 06, 2012

    The Potential Gains from Tax Reform

    I talk with NPR

    You can listen here.

    Friday, August 03, 2012

    David Brooks on the Joys of Middle Age

    The most common question I have been asked lately is, "Why the hell did you agree to become department chairman?"  It is a bullet I have been dodging for some years, but I finally capitulated when the dean asked me this time. Why, at the age of 54, did I change my mind? David Brooks's wonderful column today offers as good an answer as any I have come up with.
    Then in your 50s and 60s, you will become a sociologist, understanding that relationships are more powerful than individuals. The higher up a person gets, the more time that person devotes to scheduling and personnel. As a manager, you will find yourself in the coaching phase of life, enjoying the dreams of your underlings. Ambition, like promiscuity, is most pleasant when experienced vicariously.
    You’ll find yourself thinking back to your own mentors, newly aware of how much they shaped your path. Even though the emotions of middle-aged people are kind of ridiculous, you’ll get sentimental about the relationships you benefited from and the ones you are building. Steve Jobs said his greatest accomplishment was building a company, not a product.