Older Thoughts of the Moment: Archive

J. Bradford DeLong
delong@econ.berkeley.edu
http://www.j-bradford-delong.net/

Thoughts of the Moment...

2001-12-07: The International Financial Crises of the 1990s: Analytics; One of the important things missing from the syllabus of intermediate macroeconomics courses has been a clear, theoretically coherent, and comprehensible (to intermediate macroeconomics students) explanation of the international financial crises of the 1990s. So I have taken a crack at the job...

2001-11-23: The Macroeconomic Outlook for 2002

2001-11-09: Materials Useful for Teaching Intermediate Macro; (at least, I find them useful)

2001-10-26: My Simple Animations Library; are these materials useful for teaching economics?

2001-10-12: Dealing with the Islamic Reformation; parallels between today and the sixteenth century...

2001-09-28: Online Macro; how does one build a website to help teachers teach and students learn? I don't know. But I am eager to try to figure this out...

2001-09-14: CITRIS Kickoff Talk; Berkeley and some of the other U.C. campuses are starting a Center for Information Technology Research in the Interest of Society; I gave one of the kickoff talks...

2001-08-23: "The New Economy: Background, Questions, Speculations"; for the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City's Jackson Hole conference...

2001-08-09: Neoliberalism as the Last Development Crusade; what a look back at the history of attempts to jump-start economic development tells us...

2001-07-16: After-Dinner Talk on the New Economy; trying once again to get straight my thoughts on the internet economy in historical perspective...

2001-07-02: Arnold and Me; stray thoughts on the peculiarities of human consciousness...

2001-06-18: I am now Chair of the PEIS major; with a few additional resources and the picking of a few low-hanging fruit, it could easily become one of the crown jewels of Berkeley's undergraduate program. I intend to have fun trying to make it so...

2001-06-04: Barbara Ehrenreich, Nickel and Dimed; her blindness to what I see as the effect of government leads her into political naivete...

2001-06-01: Between Meltdown and Moral Hazard; a joint paper with Barry Eichengreen on Clinton economic policy...

2001-05-29: Preliminary Thoughts on Clinton International Economic Policy; for a joint paper with Barry Eichengreen, "Between Meltdown and Moral Hazard"...

2001-05-23: PEIS; I have just gained another job: chair of the Political Economy of Industrial Societies major here at Berkeley...

2001-05-09: Richard Evans on David Irving; in Evans's view a "holocaust denier" clearly loses his or her historian's license, but what about lesser offenses against wie es eigentlich gewesen?...

2001-04-25: The Monetarist Counterrevolution; preliminary thoughts on the impact of the monetarist counterrevolution of the 1960s and 1970s...

2001-04-15: Preliminary Thoughts on Indian Growth; three things are worth note: the 'ordinariness' of Indian growth before the late 1980s; the magnitude of the growth acceleration since; and the timing of the acceleration, coming well before neoliberal reforms were well advanced...

2001-04-05: The Convergence Club; mapping the pattern of worldwide economic growth over the past two centuries...

2001-03-26: NASDAQ Round Trip; the NASDAQ index doubled between the fall of 1999 and the spring of 2000, and since has fallen by two-thirds...

2001-03-16: Do We Have a "New" Macreconomy? Has the information technology revolution left traces in how our macroeconomy works? Probably...

2001-03-06: NONE--overwhelmed with work...

2001-02-24: Alan Furst, Dark Star"; probably the best espionage novel I have ever read--and a very nice work of interwar history too...

2001-02-14: The World Income Distribution: Turning the Corner? China and India have grown remarkably over the past two decades, and for the first time in two centuries world income inequality has actually fallen...

2001-02-04: Skidelsky on Keynes, vols. I and II; the best biography I have read this decade...

2001-01-27; Bush's Tax Cut; the Washington economic policy world turned topsy-turvy...

2000-01-19: Despair at Land Use Planning; on seeing no way to avoid ever-increasing suburban sprawl, and ever-increasing social waste due to traffic jams...

2000-01-11: Review of Dark Continent; a good book to remind us just how lucky we are that twentieth century European history has had a happy ending...

2001-01-03: Robert Skidelsky (2000), John Maynard Keynes: Fighting for Britain ; not nearly as good as the first two volumes of his biography of Keynes, but still good...

2000-12-26: Merry Christmas

2000-12-18: Has Alan Greenspan Overdone It? The case for cutting interest rates now.

2000-12-10: To Tallahassee and Back; my involvement in and thoughts about the dog's breakfast that is the election in Florida...

2000-12-02: Has the Federal Reserve Overdone It? Probably...; for the first time in a decade, it is likely that the Federal Reserve has made a misstep...

2000-11-24: Thanksgiving vacation

2000-11-16: Consumer Harm and the Microsoft Case; Microsoft defenders claim that its actions haven't harmed consumers. Well, I'm a consumer, and I've been harmed... OP-ED

2000-11-08: Gore vs. Bush: A Debate with Michael Boskin; why I think Gore would make a better president... DEBATE

2000-10-30: Berkeley Faculty Lunch Talk: Themes of 20th Century Economic History; a reworked, less triumphalist version of my standard talk about the explosion of material wealth in the twentieth century--and its astonishingly unequal distribution... TALK

2000-10-22: Review of Rudi Dornbusch, The Keys to Prosperity; Forty-nine essays by Rudi Dornbusch. All well-written, well-argued, and taking a definite point of view: Rudi Dornbusch is the antiparticle to that bete noire of Harry Truman, the "on the one hand, on the other hand" economist. REVIEW

2000-10-14: What Have We Learned from the Financial Crises of the 1990s? Five things, of which the most important are that globalization leads to increased instability and that political support for our current system of world financial management is shaky... TALK

2000-10-06: Review of POTUS Speaks. The best of the Clinton White House k... I guess we're going to have to find another phrase than "kiss-and-tell book"; just say "inside the Clinton White House" instead. REVIEW.

2000-09-28: The Impact of E-Business: A Historical Perspective; analogizing today to the Gilded Age; very short opening remarks at an e-business conference in Washington, D.C., Septembe 26-27, 2000... TALK

2000-09-21: How Much Credit Does Clinton Deserve? Is he responsible for any significant share of the good economic news? Yes--as far as the deficit and economic growth are concerned... OP-ED

2000-09-14: Two Views of Global Divergence: Jared Diamond and Jeffrey Sachs; two non-economic historians who have nevertheless done world-class work in economic history on understanding the origins of the extraordinary gaps in wealth and productivity found in today's world. COMMENT.

2000-09-07: Wars and Economic History; economic historians do have a lot to show, teach, and say about both the effects of wars and the causes of wars. COMMENT.

2000-08-31: Review of Haynes Johnson and David Broder (1997), The System. A couple of very good political journalists (but not policy analysts) recount the story of the death of health care reform in 1993-1994. REVIEW.

2000-08-24: The Two New Economies; Some say that in the information age profits will fall as competition becomes stronger; others say that profits will rise as natural monopolies spread. Both are right, but for different sets of industries. First draft of a Fortune column. COLUMN.

2000-08-17: Australia's Economic Prospects; they are bright, largely because the wave of high-tech investment that produced the U.S. productivity boom of the second half of the 1990s has barely started to affect Australia. COMMENT (forthcoming).

2000-08-10: Nader Demands Banning, Pulping of Harry Potter Books! The arguments against freeer trade are very old ones. OBSERVATION.

2000-08-01: The Accidental Theorist; Paul Krugman's best book of essays; wonderful for the substance, wonderful for the method. REVIEW.

2000-07-23: The End of the Inheritance Tax; the building of the pressure to eliminate the estate tax is a sign that America is becoming less committed to the ideal of equality of opportunity. OP-ED.

2000-07-14: NAFTA's Qualified Success; it is now time to declare NAFTA a success: it has given the forces for Mexican industrialization, modernization, and democratization a boost. First draft of a column for Worldlink. COLUMN.

2000-07-06: Why Historians Are All Wet; Walter LaFeber's unsuccessful attempt to make sense of U.S.-Japan relations. REVIEW.

2000-06-28: East Asia's Recovery; double-digit economic growth has resumed in East Asia. First draft of a column for Fortune. COLUMN.

2000-06-20: Macroeconomic Consequences of the "New Economy"; What difference does the "new economy" make for macroeconomic policy? TALK.

2000-06-12: (Revised) Macroeconomics Textbook Manifesto. What and how we should teach our undergraduates. TEXTBOOK.

2000-06-04: Robert Wright, Non Zero; big think about human history and destiny, playing up the long-run benefits of cooperation. REVIEW.

2000-05-27: The Meltzer Report; a document valuable for what its contradictions tell us about the dilemmas of international financial management. First draft of a column for Worldlink. COLUMN.

2000-05-20: Marking My Beliefs to Market; If you don't take a look at where you went right and where you went wrong, you might as well be dead. If you don't ponder why you went wrong, and what other beliefs of yours need to change, then you are not using your brain. OBSERVATION.

2000-05-13: What Is Truly "New" About Our "New Economy"?; what parts of the "new economy" are likely to survive the end of giddy overvaluation on Wall Street, and the coming of the next recession? First draft of a column for Fortune. COLUMN.

2000-05-06: The EITC and the Decade of Welfare Reform; welfare reform was supposed to boost incomes, build skills, and help people find jobs; only the first of these has been implemented. First draft of a column for the New York Times. COLUMN.

2000-04-29: Face Time; Erik Tarloff on life in the White House. REVIEW.

2000-04-22: The Dilemma of Antitrust: A Short History; The Microsoft case shows antitrust authorities groping around, trying hard to apply old anti-monopoly principles to the new economy. First draft of Los Angeles Times op-ed; April 9, 2000. OP-ED.

2000-04-15: The Coming End of American Triumphalism; Fifteen years ago people were anxious to imitate the Japanese economy. Now people are anxious to imitate America's economy. The pendulum will swing back. But before it does, people should learn from America's recent economic boom. First draft of a column for Worldlink. COLUMN.

2000-04-08: Where Did the Reagan Tax Cut Go?; why are taxes as a share of economic activity today higher than they were before the Reagan tax cut? DRAFT of my New York Times "Economic Scene" column. COLUMN.

2000-04-01: Thoughts on Visiting the OECD; Paris in the spring is lovely; the OECD is a highly bureaucratic and red tape-bound organization that is nevertheless lovely too. OBSERVATION.

2000-03-24: China's Advocate: A Review of Ken Pomeranz's The Great Divergence A very good look at just how western European economies were different from Eurasian economies on the eve of the industrial revolution. REVIEW.

2000-03-17: How Fast Is Modern Economic Growth? An argument that the pace of economic growth throughout the twentieth century has been much, much faster than we usually realize. TALK. A later, less triumphalist version...

2000-03-10: Where Did the Phillips Curve Go? why economists' forecasts of inflation are suddenly a lot less useful. DRAFT of a New York Times column. COLUMN.

2000-03-03: Referrals... Where are people finding out about my website? What was their last stop before they landed on http://www.j-bradford-delong.net? The answer: Altavista. OBSERVATION.

2000-02-25: Looking in the Encyclopedia. How the online Encyclopedia Britannica is better than the paper version, and why this implies that our official statistics are understating our rate of economic growth. First draft of a Fortune column. COLUMN.

2000-02-18: You're Working to Change It, Right Dad? On being invited to talk at the woman-excluding Bohemian Club, and then being told that one should be grateful for being given such access to such ruling class institutions. OBSERVATION.

2000-02-11: The Internet and Broadband. Why it's good for everyone if there is competition among ISPs to use my cable modem--and thus competition to deliver the internet to me. OP-ED (unpublished).

2000-02-04: The Prisoner's Dilemma. A brief selection from a wonderful book--the implicit message of the selection is that economists aren't sophisticated enough (or warped enough) to behave as their own theories would predict. CLIPPING.

2000-01-28: The Shape of Twentieth-Century History. My attempt to set out the central themes of twentieth century economic history. WORKING PAPER.

2000-01-21: Speculative Microeconomics for Tomorrow's Economy. For more than two centuries Adam Smith's economics has proven a very good guide to how to grow an economy. But as we move into the information age the basic properties of commodities and value shift in a way that may make us need a new economics. WORKING PAPER.

2000-01-14: The Information Age: What Kind of a Historical Turning Point? Is the coming of the information age really that big a deal for the economy? And if it is a really big deal, exactly how? TALK.

1999-01-07: Review of Jared Diamond, Guns, Germs, and Steel. The best book I have read on the long-run shape of human history. REVIEW.

1999-12-31: An E-conomy? My thoughts about the long-run implications of the modern computing and communications revolutions continue to evolve. Article for the Milken Review. OP-ED.

1999-12-24: Internet Taxes. Why there should be no blanket tax exemptions for the internet. OP-ED (unpublished).

1999-12-17: Dialing for Dollars. Trying to preserve some shreds of social democracy and public spirit in suburbia. OBSERVATION.

1999-12-10: Review of Charles Petzold, Code: The Hidden Language of Computer Hardware and Software. Possibly the best book that I have read all year. This book does a better job than anything else I have seen inat explaining what computers really are and how they really work. REVIEW.

2000-12-03: Macroeconomics Textbook Manifesto. What and how we should teach our undergraduates. TEXTBOOK.

1999-11-27: Review of Joseph Williams, Style: Toward Clarity and Grace. Most books on how to write better English are near useless. They scare you into worrying that you might use "which" for "that." They demand that you strive for "clarity" or "brevity" or "coherence"--but never tell you how to do so. This is the only truly useful book on English style I have ever found. REVIEW.

1999-11-20: Review of Charles Ferguson, High Stakes, No Prisoners. Smart, aggressive entrepreneur with perhaps slight paranoid tendencies (but as Intel honcho Andy Grove says, "only the paranoid survive") tells the story of his internet startup and settles scores with his enemies. REVIEW (Harvard Business Review).

1999-11-13: I Hate Microsoft Word. Doesn't everyone? CLIPPING.

1999-11-06: America's Historical Experience with Low Inflation. An article I did for a Federal Reserve conference in October 1999 on monetary policy in an age of low inflation. WORKING PAPER.

Links of the Moment...

2001-12-07: Newsweek's Story on United Flight 93

2001-11-30: The NBER Announces a Recession

2001-11-23: Mickey Kaus on the Florida Vote Recount;

2001-11-09: Cryptome on Al-Qaeda;

2001-10-26: The Atlantic Monthly-Hotline World Extra; daily news summary...

2001-10-19: Shoot-Yourself-in-the-Head Deparment; Zbigniew Brzezinski pats himself on the back for his role in creating modern terrorist Islamic fundamentalism...

2001-10-12: Terror and Liberalism; by Paul Berman, a clear-eyed and depressing look at the world we live in...

2001-10-5: The Coming Recession; James Galbraith has a nice essay on why 2002 is likely to be a bad year for the American economy...

2001-9-28: Against Rationalization; he strikes out a lot, but occasionally Christopher Hitchens hits one out of the park; he does so here...

2001-09-14: Living in Infamy; It is rare that you find something interest on usenet. Nevertheless, here is a usenet thread on the World Trade Center bombing started by Scottish science fiction author Ken MacLeod. The most interesting contribution is by Charlie Stross (not that I agree with it)...

2001-08-30: Cringely on Broadband; in his view, residential broadband is not yet a viable business...

2001-08-16: Clay Shirky on the Triumph of the World Wide Web; how the web's technical weakness turned out to be its greatest strength

2001-08-02: John Gaddis on the Weakness of Authoritarianism; why did the dictatorships of the twentieth century prove so fragile?

2001-07-18: The Black Bull of Norroway; one of J.R.R. Tolkien's favorite "fairy tales"...

2001-07-04: The Economic Consequences of the Peace; Before this full-bore, fangs-bared assault on the Treaty of Versailles and the politicians who made it, John Maynard Keynes was an aesthete, an intellectual, and a clever sometime advisor to the British Treasury. Afterwards, he was a celebrity and a force to be reckoned with in the making of economic policy. The anger and despair of this book had been building for some time, as Keynes had watched the slaughter of World War I and then saw the prospects for successful post-war reconstruction slipping away...

2001-06-20: Broadband; why is it taking so long to fiber the developed world?...

2001-06-06: Googleization; a brief note on how sometimes the best software wins: google and moreover...

2001-05-23: Hal Plotkin on OpenCourseware; the more I think about it, the braver and gutsier this move looks. Kudos to Charles Vest and company for destroying the online courseware industry--and greatly enriching the whole world...

2001-05-09: Making It Up on Volume; Author Eric Flint asserts that he can make money by giving books away for free; a well-motivated experiment in internet distribution systems.

2001-04-25: Matt Miller Despairs; the abandonment by the congressional Democrats of their core beliefs drives him to despair...

2001-04-15: Rudiger Dornbusch's World Economic Trends; a quarterly survey of the world economy by one of our very best...

2001-04-05: MIT Open Courseware; MIT's Charlie Vest takes a bold step for open education...

2001-03-26: Japanese Banking Crisis; Adam Posen's view on the current state of the Japanese economy...

2001-03-16: Delhi Calling; white-collar work becomes an internationally tradeable good...

2001-03-06; T.N. Srinivasan on Trade and Intellectual Property; a powerful argument that imposing the first-world intellectual property regime on the third world was a huge mistake...

2001-02-24; Ian Buruma on Exile; a snarky piece by the excellent Ian Buruma on intellectuals' desire to pretend to be in "exile"...

2001-02-14: The Distribution of Bush's Tax Cut; The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities reports on who gets what...

2001-02-04: Florida Recount; Mickey Kaus reports on the news...

2001-01-27: Microsoft Goes Dark; why? how?

2000-01-19: The New Administration Starts Badly; Paul Krugman on why the new administration's economic policies are already incoherent...

2001-01-11: World Military Spending; we and our close allies outspend the rest of the world on defense by about 3 to 1...

2001-01-03: Froglog; the newsletter of the International Declining Amphibians Task Force...

2000-12-26: Merry Christmas

2000-12-18: Tom Spurgeon on A Christmas Carol; worth it for the line "a three-pronged lifestyle intervention featuring the undead would work wonders for most people" alone...

2000-12-10: Robert Skidelsky on John Maynard Keynes; his thoughts on finishing his three-volume biography, from the Economist...

2000-12-02: Why Didn't Bush Ask for Hand Counts of His Own? The best explanation of what still seems inexplicable to me...

2000-11-24: Thanksgiving vacation

2000-11-16: Hand Counts and Sausage Factories; My friend John Boykin writes from experience about what happens with punch-card ballots...

2000-11-08: ICANN Board Squatters; Michael Froomkin on the continuing drift of internet governance away from accountability...

2000-10-30: Transistors Made from a Single Molecule; okay, it's a big molecule; nevertheless, nanotech steps closer...

2000-10-22: Who's Buried in Joseph's Tomb? Suck's "Hypatia Sanders" on the latest Israeli-Palestinian round...

2000-20-14: Gregg Easterbrook; the bankruptcy of the Clinton Administration's program to improve the mileage of America's cars...

2000-10-06: XNS.org; the eXtensible Name System promises to make life on the internet much easier, provided enough people join it...

2000-09-28: Carnuntum; a virtual reality tour of a Roman city in present-day Austria...

2000-09-21: Poll Results; results from polls summarized at one website...

2000-09-14: State of Working America; Every two years the Economic Policy Institute publishes this superb collection of numbers and essays on the state of working America.

2000-09-07: Chickenhawk Down; Ambrose Beers (Chris Bray) is one of the best political/cultural commentators thrown up by the internet; here he takes on Dick Cheney (and Al Gore too)...

2000-08-31: George Nethercutt; the National Journal's Jonathan Rauch takes on the arch term-limits defector...

2000-08-24: Inventing Al Gore; an interesting review of what sounds like an interesting campaign biography...

2000-08-17: Erik Tarloff on George W. Bush's Character; Lifestyles of those born on third base who get bored after three innings of the All-Star Game...

2000-08-10: VACATION

2000-08-01: VACATION

2000-07-23: The NBER Website; the marvelous intellectual community for economics built by Martin Feldstein...

2000-07-14: Understanding USA; a statistics and information site--a good use of the internet to provide information resources...

2000-07-06: Weird Science; the anti-Albert Einstein fringe...

2000-06-28: Search Tools; if you have a website you are adding to on a regular basis, you *need* a search engine...

2000-06-20; Joel Klein on Microsoft; Assistant Attorney General for Antitrust Joel Klein explains why Microsoft should be broken up...

2000-06-12; Frances Fitzgerald on SDI and the End of the Cold War; was there any relationship between Reagan's belief in "Star Wars" and the end of the Cold War and the fall of the Soviet Union. Frances Fitzgerald says "no," and makes a very good case...

2000-06-04: Blogger; if you want to construct your own weblog for your or general use, or simply look in at the trails others are taking through the web...

2000-05-27: The Gravity Forecast; essential information about your relationship with planet earth...

2000-05-20: African Growth and Opportunity Act; finally something constructive is done to help Africa's economic development...

2000-05-13: The Microsoft Trial; the Department of Justice's site; plus "embrace, extend, censor"...

2000-05-06: Ted Rall; he is my favorite political cartoonist...

2000-04-29: The Virtual Law School; Michael Froomkin on what technology will do to education...

2000-04-26: James Cramer on the NASDAQ crash...

2000-04-22: IMF World Economic Outlook; Nick Crafts on the world economy in the twentieth century...

2000-04-18: A Real Nut Case; Why the World Bank and the IMF are the good guys--defending the interests of Mozambique's cashew nut farmers against the stakeholders of a monopoly...

2000-04-15: Parsing the Protests; I'm not usually the biggest fan of Thomas Friedman, but this column on the anti-globalization movement seems to me to get it right...

2000-04-12: The Lord of the Rings; they're making a movie of Tolkein...

2000-04-08: Terraserver; look down at the earth at an almost spy-like resolution.

2000-04-01: Eagleton on Rorty; English literary critic Terry Eagleton has a very nice--a very effective--a very snide--a very sarcastic--demolition of U. Va. philosopher Richard Rorty.

2000-03-24: Ars Digita; utopian idealists place their bet on the future of the world wide web: "create like a God, command like a king, work like a slave"...

2000-03-17: No Amazon; why people think that amazon.com is a threat and a menace...

2000-03-10: Michael Froomkin; the outstanding legal academic studying the internet and its future...

2000-03-03: Center on Budget and Policy Priorities; if you want numbers on the federal budget and what it means...

2000-02-25: Current Economic Statistics; from CBS Marketwatch...

2000-02-18: The American Prospect; trying hard (and largely successfully) to become what the New Republic used to be: the central meeting place of American liberalism...

2000-02-11: Briefing Room; economic statistics from the White House...

Graph of the Moment...

2001-12-07: The Gains from Globalization

2001-11-23: U.S. Profits

2001-11-09: Il Quarto Stato; not a graph, but one of my favorite paintings...

2001-10-26: Interest Rate Cuts in 2001.

2001-10-12: Cross-National Prosperity Comparisons; the Economist presents the latest evidence on real GDP per capital levels across nations...

2001-09-28: The Industrial Revolution in Cotton Spinning; what had been one of the most expensive parts of non-agricultural production became one of the cheapest and easiest...

2001-09-14: The World Trade Center

2001-08-30: Indian Productivity; the state-owned sector is an incredible drag on the rest of India's economy...

2001-08-16: World Military Spending; the U.S. and its allies together spend the bulk of world military dollars...

2001-08-02: Vacation

2001-07-18: U.S. Inflation; even the small slowdown in the U.S. economy in late 2000 has apparently been enough to shift inflation from slowly rising to stable...

2001-07-04: Post-Communism; the Economist reports on the extraordinary divergence in economic growth in post-Communist countries over the past decade...

2001-06-15: The Investment Boom of the 1990s; in its early years the Clinton administration hoped that its policies would produce a high-investment expansion, but they never anticipated anything like this...

2001-05-31: Openness and Growth; how robust is the relationship between "openness" and economic growth? It is still there after 1980, but not as strongly as it was present in initial studies of the 1960-1980 period...

2001-05-14: The Acceleration of U.S. Productivity Growth; the most concrete sign of a "new economy," but will it persist?...

2001-04-25: India's Economic Growth; a country of nearly a billion people that in the past twenty years has, as far as economic growth is concerned, climbed onto a rapidly-climbing escalator to modernity...

2001-04-15: The Convergence Club; what economies are narrowing the relative gap vis-a-vis the world's industrial leaders?...

2001-04-05: Inventory-to-Shipments Ratios; American manufacturing has been becoming "leaner" in an inventory sense for a generation...

2001-03-26: The Shift in the Phillips Curve; Comparing what nflation has done in the 1990s with what it would have done had the pre-1993 relationship between inflation and unemployment continued...

2001-03-16: NASDAQ round trip; the NASDAQ index has fallen very far from its heights of last March, but it still has a lot of air in it...

2001-03-06: NONE--overwhelmed with work

2001-02-24: Dora Costa on Expenditure Shares and CPI Bias; she concludes that back in 1918 our predecessors were only half as well off as standard calculations based on nominal incomes and the official CPI would suggest...

2001-02-14: The Bush Tax Cut; $44,000 each for the top 1% of married couples; $1,000 each for the median family...

2001-02-04: Welcome to the new Gilded Age; IRS data suggests that income inequality continued to grow in the 1990s...

2001-01-27: Staying Poor; Americans have a harder time than others climbing out of poverty...

2001-01-19: Yield Spreads; rising risk premia on bonds are a sign of an economy in potential trouble...

2001-01-11: Year 2000 Retail Sales; even though seasonally-adjusted sales declined in the fourth quarter, they were 3.7% higher in December 2000 than in December 1999...

2000-12-26: NASDAQ Round Trip; between early 1999 and the end of 2000 the NASDAQ stock index first doubled, then halved, winding up almost exactly where it had been two years earlier...

2000-12-26: Merry Christmas

2000-12-18: Earth by Night; I like this so much I'm keeping it up for a third week...

2000-12-10: Earth by Night; I like this so much I'm keeping it up for a second week...

2000-12-02: Earth by Night; who says that nothing of value has been created by the space program?...

2000-11-24: Thanksgiving vacation

2000-11-16: Gore won urban, Bush won rural America; county vote winners...

2000-11-08: Odds on the Election from Iowa Electronic Markets; real people bet real money on this gauge of what expectations really are...

2000-10-30: Presidential Polls Once Again; the extraordinary volatility of some polls--Gallup, for example--makes me think that they need a long trip to statistical boot camp...

2000-10-22: Price-Earnings Ratios Around the World; they are high almost everywhere...

2000-10-14: Stock Market Prices: is the market overvalued? Is a crash likely? Probably yes...

2000-10-06: Median Family Income; it has been growing slowly since 1973, but there is hope that growth is accelerating as we write...

2000-09-28: Understanding Presidential Polls; they're not all the same...

2000-09-14: World Inequality; today's economic world: the rich and the relatively poor...

2000-09-07: Recent European Inflation: inflation in Europe is creeping up, even though unemployment remains distressingly high...

2000-08-31: VACATION

2000-08-24: Global Warming; Humans are dumping a lot of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, which will warm up the earth...

2000-08-17: VACATION

2000-08-10: VACATION

2000-08-01: VACATION

2000-07-23: Dynamic Inflation Forecasts; What inflation would have been had the pre-1990 relationship between unemployment and inflation continued...

2000-07-14: Real GDP Growth; Forecasts of what will be reported for growth for the second quarter of 2000 show few signs of slowing in the American economy...

Economics Article of the Month...

2001-10-01: Freeman, "A Rising Tide Lifts...?"; To what extent did the economic boom of the 1990s-early 2000s improve the well-being of persons in the bottom rungs of the income distribution? Freeman finds that the tight labor market reduced poverty substantially...

2001-09-01: Baily and Lawrence; there is substance behind the "new economy" hype...

2001-08-01: Dornbusch; a primer on emerging markets crises...

2001-07-01: Karl Whelan; a guide to the use of chain-aggregated data...

2001-06-01: Claudia Goldin; "The Human Capital Century and American Leadership: Virtues of the Past"

2001-05-01: Williamson and Collins; a historical look at high capital goods prices, and at how much they have slowed economic growth...

2001-04-01: John Bound, David Jaeger, and Regina Baker, "Problems with Instrumental Variables Estimation when the Correlation Between the Instruments and the Endogenous Explanatory Variables is Weak"; a work of genius. I remember a decade ago, sitting in a seminar, wondering "how is he getting such strong results with such silly instruments?" Now I know.

2001-03-01: Dora Costa, "American Living Standards, 1888-1994: Evidence from Consumer Expenditures" http://www.nber.org/papers/w7650; excellent work producing independent evidence of the extent to which the Consumer Price Index [CPI] is biased...

2001-02-01: Morris Goldstein, "IMF Structural Programs"; the best thing I have seen on the IMF's "structural adjustment" programs...

2001-01-01: Lant Pritchett, "Divergence, Bigtime"; one of the papers that I wish I had written; one of the most important and persuasive things written in economics in the 1990s...

2000-12-01: Eichengreen and Sachs, "Exchange Rates and Economic Recovery in the 1930s"; attachment to the gold standard was the kiss of death during the Great Depression--still one of the most insightful articles about the Great Depression ever written...

2000-11-01: Blanchard and Wolfers, "Shocks and Institutions in the Rise of European Unemployment"; Adverse shocks cannot explain cross-country differences in European unemployment. Explanations focusing on labor market institutions cannot explain the rise in unemployment since the 1960s. The interaction of the two is crucial.

2000-10-01: Goldin and Katz, "The Power of the Pill"; oral contraceptives did change everything as far as women's career and marriage decisions were concerned...

2000-09-01: Chang-Tai Hsieh on Israel's Wave of Immigration from Russia: It turns out that the one-sector neoclassical growth model does a very good job modeling the consequences...

2000-08-01: Blanchard and Katz on Wage Dynamics: Short but very, very sweet lesson in how to think about the cross-Atlantic pattern of inflation and unemployment...

2000-07-01: Laurence Ball on Disinflation and the NAIRU: The case that Europe's high unemployment today is the result of labor-market "hysteresis" combined with too-tight monetary policy...

2000-06-01: Stock and Watson on Inflation: How to forecast inflation...

2000-05-01: My Own Short History of Monetarism: The intellectual roots of most of today's mainstream macroeconomics.

Recycled Thoughts...

2001-09-01: Consumer Harm and the Microsoft Case; Microsoft defenders claim that its actions haven't harmed consumers. Well, I'm a consumer, and I've been harmed...

2001-08-01: Macroeconomics Textbook Manifesto. What and how we should teach our undergraduates.

2001-07-01: Review of Haynes Johnson and David Broder (1997), The System. A couple of very good political journalists (but not policy analysts) recount the story of the death of health care reform in 1993-1994.

2001-06-01: The Shock of the Virtual; there have long been speculations about how the electronic shadows made possible by the computer and telecommunications revolutions will acquire the intensity of effect, the immediacy, the complexity and the depth to become--in a certain sense--real. OP-ED.

2000-05-01: The Meltzer Report; a document valuable for what its contradictions tell us about the dilemmas of international financial management...

2000-04-01: Berkeley Faculty Lunch Talk: Themes of 20th Century Economic History; a reworked, less triumphalist version of my standard talk about the explosion of material wealth in the twentieth century--and its astonishingly unequal distribution...

2000-03-01: The End of the Inheritance Tax; the building of the pressure to eliminate the estate tax is a sign that America is becoming less committed to the ideal of equality of opportunity.

2000-02-01: Review of Haynes Johnson and David Broder (1997), The System. A couple of very good political journalists (but not policy analysts) recount the story of the death of health care reform in 1993-1994. REVIEW.

2001-01-1: Review of Joseph Williams, Style: Toward Clarity and Grace. Most books on how to write better English are near useless. They scare you into worrying that you might use "which" for "that." They demand that you strive for "clarity" or "brevity" or "coherence"--but never tell you how to do so. This is the only truly useful book on English style I have ever found. REVIEW.

2000-12-1: Marking My Beliefs to Market; If you don't take a look at where you went right and where you went wrong, you might as well be dead. If you don't ponder why you went wrong, and what other beliefs of yours need to change, then you are not using your brain. OBSERVATION.

2000-11-1: What Is Truly "New" About Our "New Economy"?; what parts of the "new economy" are likely to survive the end of giddy overvaluation on Wall Street, and the coming of the next recession? First draft of a column for Fortune. COLUMN.

2000-10-15: Review of Jared Diamond, Guns, Germs, and Steel. The best book I have read on the long-run shape of human history. REVIEW.

2000-10-1: The Shape of Twentieth-Century History. My attempt to set out the central themes of twentieth century economic history. WORKING PAPER.

2000-09-15: Review of Charles Petzold, Code: The Hidden Language of Computer Hardware and Software. Possibly the best book that I have read all year. This book does a better job than anything else I have seen inat explaining what computers really are and how they really work. REVIEW.

2000-08-15: The Mexican Peso Crisis: Why Globalization and the IMF Are Good Things; Written four years ago in defense of American policy toward Mexico. Still timely: international economic integration and the IMF are good things. WORKING PAPER (Foreign Affairs).

2000-08-1: Tract on Monetary Reform; in my view, John Maynhard Keynes's best book. REVIEW.

2000-07-15: Competing on Internet Time; the book on Netscape vs. Microsoft. REVIEW.

2000-07-01: The Shock of the Virtual; there have long been speculations about how the electronic shadows made possible by the computer and telecommunications revolutions will acquire the intensity of effect, the immediacy, the complexity and the depth to become--in a certain sense--real. OP-ED

2000-06-15: Review of Charles Petzold, Code: The Hidden Language of Computer Hardware and Software. Possibly the best book that I have read all year. This book does a better job than anything else I have seen inat explaining what computers really are and how they really work. REVIEW.

2000-06-01: Trying to Talk About Tax Policy; campaigning for Barbara Boxer, and being slapped once again in the face by how bad and uninterested in the substance of government our press is. OBSERVATION.

2000-05-15: Gene Sperling; there is no one with a keener nose for how to make politically effective arguments for good economic policies. TALK.

2000-05-01: Andrei Shleifer; a (not completely serious) toast to congratulate Andrei Shleifer on his winning the American Economic Association's Clark Medal. TALK.

2000-04-15: Tract on Monetary Reform; perhaps John Maynard Keynes's best book. REVIEW.

2000-04-01: Questions on E-commerce; a short sketch of what we don't know. OBSERVATION.

2000-03-15: Pericles: The Funeral Oration; the first definition of "democracy"--one of the founding moments of world civilization. CLIPPING.

2000-03-01: Rules, Old and New, for the Twenty-First Century Economy; a review of books about the evolution of the internet by Carl Shapiro and Hal Varian, and by Kevin Kelly. REVIEW (Worldlink).

2000-02-15: Welcome to Entering Graduate Students; How one becomes, and what it means to become, an economist. TALK.

2000-02-1: "Farewell to Treasury," or "What Are Economists Good For?" A short speech I gave when I left my job at the U.S. Treasury. TALK.

2000-01-15: Inventions in History; a look at the shifting geographical distribution of the leading edge of technological innovation. OBSERVATION.

2000-01-1: Ka-ching!: The Amazon Associates Program. OBSERVATION.

1999-12-15: The Mexican Peso Crisis: Why Globalization and the IMF Are Good Things; a piece written four years ago in defense of American policy toward Mexico. It is still very timely: international economic integration is a good thing, and the IMF is a good thing, yet most people don't seem to have a clue as to why. WORKING PAPER (Foreign Affairs).

1999-12-1: Email: A Distinctive Mode of Communication; collected interesting emails I have written over the past several years. OBSERVATION(S).

1999-11-15: The Shock of the Virtual; there have long been speculations about how the electronic shadows made possible by the computer and telecommunications revolutions will acquire the intensity of effect, the immediacy, the complexity and the depth to become--in a certain sense--real. OP-ED.


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