June 22, 2002

Half a Year's Worth of Interesting Graphs and Pictures

Last summer it struck me that I should spend some time preparing some handouts and graphs related to important issues of economic policy and economic analysis. While teaching, it had often struck me that I could improve my lecture a lot "if only I had a good handout to use here." And it seemed to me that if I worked on things slowly and gradually, I would soon have a large library of stuff to draw on.

I failed to realize that I was going to fall into one of the two traps of information retrieval. The first is, "How do you find something you remember exists?" The second is, "How do you figure out and remember what kinds of things exist, so you know what kinds of things you should look for?"

I clearly need--this summer--to develop a categorization scheme so that I can take my handouts and my graphs and my pictures and have a chance of finding the right one when I want to use it in lecture. This is going to be hard.

Some of the raw material I now have to classify is listed below...

2002-06-15: Price-Earnings Ratios. Even today, the stock market's valuation is *way* out of whack with historical patterns...

2002-05-31: World Population Distribution. It's amazing how much of humanity is still concentrated in the long-settled river vallesy of Eurasia.

2002-05-30: Megacities. What are the world's largest cities? Where are the next generation's largest cities growing?

2002-05-15: The End of the Population Explosion. The speed with which developing country birthrates have plummeted is truly remarkable...

2002-05-01: American Household Incomes. The 1990s were the first decade in three to see sustained and significant growth in median household incomes...

2002-04-15: U.S. Trade with Mexico. U.S. trade with Mexico has more than tripled over the 1990s. Contrary to what the Ralph Naders and the Ross Perots claimed a decade ago, the expansion of trade with Mexico has not crippled American workers' standards of living. ...

2002-04-01: Unemployment in the 1990s. The 1990s were an astonishingly good decade for the United States as far as its average level of unemployment was concerned

2002-03-15: Earth at Night Again. I simply love this image...

2002-02-28: Output Growth in the Late 1990s. The quarter-to-quarter growth rate of the American economy is not stable: it bounces around substantially. Nevertheless, the second half of the 1990s saw real GDP growth that was remarkably strong in historical perspective

2002-02-15: Investment in the Recession of 2001. Since the first quarter of 2001 investment has crashed: it is now eleven percent below what it was nine months ago.

2002-02-01: Inflation in the Late 1990s. Late 1999 and early 2000, however, showed some signs of accelerating inflation. The Federal Reserve responded by raising interest rates to choke off any such acceleration before it became embedded in expectations. But ex post we can see that the Federal Reserve overdid it, playing a role in causing the recession of 2001.

2002-01-04: The Advent of the American Recession. This time dating the business cycle peak and the recession is exceptionally hazardous. Indeed, the failure of the major indicators to show their standard business cycle-peak pattern raises questions about whether "business cycle theory" provides a good way to understand what is going on.

2002-05-29: Is Europe's Labor Market Getting Better?
2002-05-22: Industrial Production--May
2002-05-15: Accounting and Profits
2002-05-08: Unemployment and Productivity: First Quarter, 2002
2002-05-01: May Industrial Production Release...
2002-04-24: Productivity Growth Discrepancies
2002-04-17: The Course of the Recession and What It Tells Us About the New Economy
2002-04-10: Productivity Growth
2002-03-27: America's Rebound from Recession
2002-03-20: World Economic Forecasts
2002-03-13: Population Growth (Chapter 5: Growth Facts)
2002-03-06: Capacity Utilization (Chapter 2: Economic Data)
2002-02-27: U.S. Household Incomes (Chapter 2: Economic Data; Chapter 5: Growth Facts)
2002-02-20: Unemployment in the 1990s (Chapter 2: Economic Data)
2002-02-06: U.S. Monetary Policy (Chapter 13: Stabilization Policy)
2002-01-28: GDP in 2000 and 2001 (Chapter 13: Stabilization Policy. Chapter 2: Economic Data)
2002-01-21: The Course of the U.S. Recession (Chapter 13: Stabilization Policy)
2002-01-07: Argentina's Crisis (Chapter 15: Exchange Rate Regimes)
2001-12-10: The U.S. Recession (Chapter 2: Principal Macroeconomic Variables)
2001-12-03: The Overvalued Euro (Chapter 3: Exchange Rates; Chapter 15: Exchange Rate Regimes)
2001-11-26: Net Exports, the Exchange Rate, and an IS-Led Boom (Chapter 11: Balance of Payments; Chapter 15: Exchange Rate Regimes)
2001-11-19: The European Central Bank and Its Monetary Policy (Chapter 13: Stabilization Policy)
2001-11-12: Central Banks Worldwide Cut Interest Rates Again (Chapter 13: Stabilization Policy)
2001-11-05: Effects of the Collapse in Spending on Durables (Chapter 9: Income-Expenditure and the Multiplier.)
2001-10-28: What Kind of Stimulus (Chapter 13: Stabilization Policy. Chapter 9: Income-Expenditure and the Multiplier.)
2001-10-21: Federal Reserve Reaction to the Terror Attack on the World Trade Center (Chapter 13: Stabilization Policy. Chapter 10: The IS Curve.)
2001-10-14: Why a Stimulus Package Might Be Desireable (Chapter 13: Stabilization Policy. Chapter 10: The IS Curve.)

Posted by DeLong at June 22, 2002 08:33 PM


Dr. Delong,

I believe the links from "Capacity Utilization" through "Argentina's crisis" are broken.

Posted by: Maria Eugenia on June 22, 2002 08:49 PM

Hi: Well, maybe the question about information retrieval is sitting right here on your movable type site. Just set up a blog for retrieval purposes. After all, that's what Blogs are all about.

Now, there's a search capability that might or might not be easily employed. Check with movabletype.org and see what they suggest for navigating around with keyword searching.

Thanks, Tom

Posted by: Tom Poe on June 22, 2002 09:13 PM

Brad, this sounds like an excellent project for a sumer stuend, either a senior or master's.

The could use a paid account to find economics information sources in general, find sources relevant to your articles, etc.

The end result could be a searchable database of links.


Posted by: Barry on June 23, 2002 08:15 AM
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