Relevant and even prescient commentary on news, politics and the economy.

I Remember When Mankiw was still a Neo-Keynesian

Cassander, writing at Steve Keen’s Debtwatch,* puts the hammer to those arguing that the death of the patient had nothing to do with the doctor: What a load of bollocks. The “principles of economics” that [N. Gregory] Mankiw champions, and the “More economic research (and teaching)” that [Doug] McTaggart et al are calling for, are […]

UnReal Business Cycle

Via Dr. Black, those RBC models may be missing a variable or two: In April, the rate in the United States rose to 8.9 percent. When the European figures are compiled, it seems likely that the American rate will be higher for the first time since Eurostat began compiling the numbers in 1993…. First, it […]

Yankee Interlude

I’m not really paying attention to (major league) baseball this year, so I should probably leave this to Scott, but, as a query: For all team that was supposed to have had a major improvement in its middle relief this year, the Yankees appear to have given up a large number (>=7) of runs in […]

And Here I Thought Corporations were Rational

Ken Houghton lowers the level of discourse at AB by discussing the career of a porn star other than Adam West. One of the primary tenets of economic theory is that corporations believe in nothing other than profits. Well, it’s not quite that stark—we use phrases such as “utility maximization,” “cost minimization,” and the like—but […]

1,121 Words on Bruce’s Post, with footnote

I’m going to have to do a little clean-up work here (i.e., run the data in Excel instead of Stata), so I’ll ask forgiveness for the double-labels and all that.Graphic redone; data as per FRED. I think the story is clear. The long version is Bruce’s post below. What is now the top line is […]

Miami Vice

Reality (h/t Dr. Black): In certain ZIP codes in places like Homestead and Florida City, around 25 percent of the homes are in one stage of foreclosure or another. Countless others were built by developers and sit vacant in ghostly subdivisions, with not a buyer in sight. In the days after Andrew, then-Dade County Emergency […]

How Rational Behavior Leads to Inefficiency if there are Incomplete Markets

Robert Waldmann My effort immediately below to explain some general equilibrium theory in English didn’t work out so well. Here I will attempt to give simple examples which show how rational individual choice and/or trade between rational consenting adults can make everyone worse off. Models will all involve strange fruit trees, that is assets which […]

General Equilibrium Theory by Popular Demand

Robert Waldmann I’m not kidding. Someone in some thread said that he or she thought it would be great if I could give a simple intuitive explanation of Geanakoplos and Polemarchakis (1985). Also I would get an interesting perspective on the crisis if I could fly to the moon. I will try after the jump. […]

Quote of the Day on Executive Pay

Via Mark Thoma, Uwe Reinhardt* hits one out of the park on economist’s research abilities: Evidently, in the mind of economists, Lone Ranger C.E.O.’s can make truly astronomical contributions to a firm’s market capitalization, ceteris paribus, which justifies high bid prices for them. Why Lone Ranger C.E.O.’s who have trashed their firm’s market capitalization should […]