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

Why Much of the Population Thinks Economists are Charlatans

by Mike Kimel Why Much of the Population Thinks Economists are Charlatans Noah Smith asks why people think economists are charlatans. He concludes it has something to do with trade. I submit the answer is much, much simpler, and I think it deals with the part of economics which has most visibility with the public: macroeconomics. Read this post from […]

Notes Toward Economics at (or, more accurately, approaching) the Eschaton

No, not Dr. Black’s blog.  The real eschaton: the end of everything.  Or, in this case, its economics equivalent: the point at which almost all human work is no longer necessary but human beings still exist. The scenario is a simple one.  There are x humans on Earth (x>>1).  Self-repairing, recycling machines can provide all […]

Which (macro)-economists are worth listening to?

One could add a few names, and people did in comments.  One could also add a couple more thoughts  to Jonathon’s criterion, two of which could be admitting to mistakes and fixing parts of the model one is using if missed called, and a caveat around whether an economist could explain his/her model well and […]

Jamie Galbraith on inequality and macroeconomics

Via Naked Capitalism comes this youtube video from Jamie Galbraith on inequality and macroeconomics, a speech delivered at the INET talks in Berlin: Galbraith has marshaled a great deal of cross country data over time, and shows how changes in equality happened in a very large number of economies in parallel. He explains, persuasively, that the most […]

Krugman and Waldmann

Paul Krugman notes Angry Bear Robert Waldmann in the micro/macro conversation in the New York Times: There has been an ongoing discussion in the econoblogosphere about the usefulness or lack thereof of “microfoundations” in macroeconomics, which in practice means trying to write down models in which aggregate behavior is justified in terms of the actions of […]

The 2012 Version of a Very Old Joke

With apologies to Stan Collender’s Beautiful and Talented Wife (not to mention mine): James had gathered a mix of friends, acquaintances, and random strangers at his Rent Party, but no one was talking to anyone else. So he decided to get people to talk to each other, using the easiest non-visible variable available: “Don, what’s […]

Macro right, micro wrong?

Derek Thompson at The Atlantic had some thoughts on labor cost and economics taken from Henry Blodgett’s observation on declining wages for most wage earners. The second paragraph caught my eye as interesting for economists. My response was that Blodget was macro-right — income inequality is a serious and growing problem — but micro-wrong, because […]

Stylized Facts

Net Exports goes negative in 1973 and never recovers. One word: oil. Even the USD depreciation after the Plaza Accord (the one Martin Feldstein likes to pretend was inevitably going to happen then) can’t quite get it back to being positive. And once outsourcing industry to China hits full stride… Private Investment peaks in 2006. […]