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Rereading Phil Hoffman: Why Did Europe Conquer the World?

Riga

Rereading: Philip Hoffman: Why Did Europe Conquer the World? http://amzn.to/2FCPUQh

From the best review of the book:

Dietz Vollrath (2015) Dumb Luck in Historical Development:

Philip Hoffman’s Why Did Europe Conquer the World? [is]... on its face, is another entry in a long line of... Western European... dominance... due to a rather specific characteristic: disease tolerance, or cows, or a knobbly coastline.... But Hoffman’s work is different... a model of learning-by-doing in gunpowder technology... only... if you actually fight.... Europe['s]... lead was not due to some unique European characteristic, but rather was luck of the draw.... Hoffman... saw a correlation between European states and higher firepower, but... was willing to accept that this correlation--while meaningful in giving Europe an advantage--did not necessarily imply some kind of deep structural advantage for Europe...

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(Early) Monday Smackdown/Hoisted from the Archives: Thinking Math Can Substitute for Economics Turns Economists Into Real Morons Department

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The highly estimable Tim Taylor wrote:

Tim Taylor: Some Thoughts About Economic Exposition in Math and Words: "[Paul Romer's] notion that math is 'both more precise and more opaque' than words is an insight worth keeping..."

And he recommends Alfred Marshall's workflow checklist:

  1. Use mathematics as a shorthand language; rather than as an engine of inquiry.
  2. Keep to them till you have done.
  3. Translate into English.
  4. Then illustrate by examples that are important in real life.
  5. Burn the mathematics.
  6. If you can't succeed in 4, burn 3.

This is sage advice.

And to underscore the importance of this advice, I think it is time to hoist the best example I have seen in a while of people with no knowledge of the economics and no control over their models using—simple—math to be idiots: Per Krusell and Tony Smith trying and failing to criticize Thomas Piketty:

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Economics as a Professional Vocation: Bulls--- Detection as a Student Learning Goal

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Hoisted from the Archives: Economics as a Professional Vocation: The very sharp Binyamin Applebaum had an interesting rant....

Binyamin Applebaum: @BCAPPELBAUM ON TWITTER: "I am not sure there is a defensible case for the discipline of macroeconomics if they can’t at least agree on the ground rules for evaluating tax policy. What does it mean to produce the signatures of 100 economists in favor of a given proposition when another 100 will sign their names to the opposite statement? How does Harvard, for example, justify granting tenure to people who purport to work in the same discipline and publicly condemn each other as charlatans? How are ordinary people, let alone members of Congress, supposed to figure out which tenured professors are the serious economists?...

I would say, first, that journalists (and others) are supposed to use their eyes and their brains. They can take a look at the Nine Unprofessional Republican Economists who placed their letter in the Wall Street Journal... [on a] Saturday containing:

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Trumpfrastructure: No Longer So Live at Project Syndicate

Donald Trump Is Playing to Lose by J Bradford DeLong Project Syndicate

Donald Trump Is Playing to Lose: Donald Trump is certainly a very different kind of president from what we have been used to—not just in temperament; in (lack of) knowledge about America, its government, and the world; and in public presentation-of-self. He is very different from what we have been used to in his orientation toward policy as well.

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Estimating the Long Run Growth Effects of Tax Cuts: An Example

2018 02 06 DeLong and Olney Macro 3rd Ch 4 4 Using the Solow Growth Model

Does this belong in the next edition of Martha Olney's and my Macroeconomics textbook?

Box 4.4.6: Estimating the Effects of Policy Changes: An Example

In late 2017 and early 2018 the Trump administration and the Republican congressional caucuses pushed through a combined tax cut and a relaxation of spending caps to the tune of increasing the federal government budget deficit by about 1.4% of GDP. These policy changes were intended to be permanent.

Not the consensus but the center-of-gravity analysis by informed opinion in the economics profession of the effects on long-run growth of such a permanent change in fiscal policy would have made the following points:

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Should-Read: An entertaining rant from Doug Campbell. I wonder what triggered this? It is certainly true that the abstract of Acemoglu, Johnson and Robinson (2001), "Reversal of Fortune: Geography and the Making of the Modern Income Distribution" is simply wrong where it says "countries... that were relatively rich in 1500 are now relatively poor": they should have written "countries... that were densely populated and relatively urbanized in 1500—and thus had done well either because of geographic advantages or because of successful matching of technology to environment—are now relatively poor". "Rich" is the wrong word for, as Doug correctly points out, Malthusian model reasons. It is marriage patterns (and, to some degree, vulnerability to epidemics and violence) that determines whether those people still alive to consume in the old days were relatively rich or poor: Doug Campbell: On the Uses (and Abuses) of Economath: The Malthusian Models: "The first year of an Econ Ph.D. feels much more like entering a Ph.D. in solving mathematical models by hand than it does with learning economics...

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Reading: Robert Allen (2009): The British Industrial Revolution in Global Perspective

Robert Allen (2009): The British Industrial Revolution in Global Perspective | <http://amzn.to/2mR3bKX>

Start with the mysterious "Pseudoerasmus": Random thoughts on critiques of Allen’s theory of the Industrial Revolution:

I love the work of Robert Allen... steel... the Soviet Union... English agriculture. And his little book on global economic history—is there a greater marvel of illuminating concision than that?... His point of departure is always the very concrete reasons that a firm or an industry or a country is more productive than another. I’m not rubbishing institutions or culture as explanations—I’m just saying, Allen’s virtue is to start with problems of production first. Yet I always find myself in the peculiar position of loving his work like a fan-girl and disagreeing with so much of it. In particular, I’m sceptical of his theory of the Industrial Revolution.

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Donald Trump Is Playing to Lose: Live at Project Syndicate

Donald Trump Is Playing to Lose by J Bradford DeLong Project Syndicate

Live at Project Syndicate: Donald Trump Is Playing to Lose: America certainly has a different kind of president than what it is used to. What distinguishes Donald Trump from his predecessors is not just his temperament and generalized ignorance, but also his approach to policymaking. Consider Bill Clinton, who in 1992 was, like Trump, elected without a majority of voters. Once in office, Clinton appealed to the left with fiscal-stimulus and health-care bills (both unsuccessful), but also tacked center with a pro-growth deficit-reduction bill. He appealed to the center right by concluding the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), which had been conceived under his Republican predecessors; and by signing a major crime bill. And he reappointed the conservative stalwart Alan Greenspan to chair the US Federal Reserve. Clinton hoped to achieve three things with this “triangulation” strategy... READ MOAR at Project Syndicate


When Globalization is Public Enemy Number One: No Longer Fresh at the Milken Institute Review

Globalization over the centuries

*Milken Institute Review: When Globalization is Public Enemy Number One: The first 30 years after World War II saw the recovery and reintegration of the world economy (the “Thirty Glorious Years,” in the words of French economist Jean Fourastié). Yet after a troubled decade — one in which oil shocks, inflation, near-depression and asset bubbles temporarily left us demoralized — the subsequent 23 years (1984-2007) of perky growth and stable prices were even more impressive as far as the growth of the world's median income were concerned.

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Analyzing Growth: Lecture Support for Econ 113 S2018

I am going to want my American Economic History students this semester to be able to handle three sets of economic tools:

  1. Supply and demand, with the calculation of equilibrium prices and quantities, consumer and producer surplus, tax (and other) wedges, and deadweight losses

  2. Keynesian national income accounting/monetarist quantity theory, for depressions and inflationary gaps

  3. Compound growth, with doubling and thousand-fold times for constant compounding rates

So I will park the calculations file for the lecture of (3) here for convenience...

https://github.com/braddelong/LSS18E101b/blob/master/2018-02-04_Econ%20113%20Analyzing%20Growth.ipynb

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Reading Notes for Joel Mokyr: A Culture of Growth

School of Athens

Being a long time historical materialist of some flavor or another, I am by orientation hostile to arguments like Mokyr's that it was ideas and culture that ultimately mattered. I find myself very suspicious of arguments that give a unique value to cultures, especially when they are my own. I tend to appeal instead to principles of representativeness—that I should not assume that I or anything of mine is special without very good reason—of non-cherrypicking—do not accentuate the positive while neglecting the negative—and of visibility—that of requiring concrete causal mechanisms, rather than waving one's hands, saying "it was in the air" and "there are lots of other ways it matters besides those that have been mentioned here".

That does not mean that I am right.

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Weekend Reading: Adam Smith on the Necessity of Public Education

Should-Read: Adam Smith (1776): Publicly Funded Education: "In the progress of the division of labour, the employment of the far greater part of those who live by labour...

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Should-Read: 0.5%/year increase in ocean transport speeds in the late-eighteenth and early-nineteenth centuries. A bunch of this is capital deepening—figure it is better thought of as a measure of the growth rate of the efficiency of labor E than of total factor productivity A: Morgan Kelly and Cormac Ó Gráda: Speed under sail during the early Industrial Revolution: "The consensus among economic (but not maritime) historians that maritime technology was more or less stagnant for 300 years...

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Reading Question/Note Files for Bob Allen: Global Economic History: A Very Short Introduction

Reading Question/Note Files for Bob Allen: Global Economic History: A Very Short Introduction:

Robert Allen: Global Economic History: A Very Short Introduction (0199596654):

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Determining Bargaining Power in the Platform Economy: Reinvent Full Transcript

Reinvent

Reinvent: Determining Bargaining Power in the Platform Economy: Our political system has been hacked by time, circumstance, chaos, and disaster...

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Three Books for 2017: Economics for the Common Good, Janesville, Economism

3 books

Ken Murphy asked me for three books for 2017. Mine are: Amy Goldstein: Janesville: An American Story, Jean Tirole: Economics for the Common Good, and James Kwak: Economism: Bad Economics and the Rise of Inequality:

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Six Tax "Reform"-Related Appeals to Various People to Do Their Jobs for Their Country's Sake—and Even, in the Long Run, Their Selves' Sake

Battle of the Colline Gate

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Deer in the Headlights?

Deer in the Headlights

Susan Collins on Meet the Press, December 4, 2017:

SUSAN COLLINS: Apply [that] to [the] four-tenths of one percent increase in the GDP generates revenues of a trillion dollars, a trillion dollars.... I’ve talked four economists, including the Dean of the Columbia School of Business and former chairs of the councils of economic advisors and they believe that it will have this impact. So I think if we can stimulate the economy, create more jobs, that does generate more revenue...

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Notes on Gerald Friedman

Rethinking macro economics Fiscal policy

J. Bradford Delong: Notes on Gerald Friedman: Since 2010 fiscal policy austerity has been a disaster for both Europe and the United States. But how much better could things be? How much good could be done by a restoration of a sensible fiscal policy?

I take a sensible fiscal policy to be one that, in the words of Abba Lerner, recognizes the first principle of functional finance...

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Hoisted from the Archives: Night Thoughts on Dynamic Scoring

Mnuchin

Should-Read: I say it is time to promote this guy to Admiral: AdmiralPAYGO!: Ed Lorenzen: @CaptainPAYGO on Twitter: "The Treasury Department dynamic 'analysis' of tax reform makes a mockery of dynamic analysis and does a disservice to those who advocate for serious dynamic estimates https://t.co/PudiRrQzu1..."

Brad DeLong: @de1ong on Twitter: This is a surprise? Static analysis was always about making a bias-variance tradeoff: A static analysis would be biased, but have lower mean-squared error because the "dynamic" terms would inevitably be overwhelmingly large-magnitude political-partisan-lobbyist-ideologue noise:

Hoisted from the Archives from 2015: Night Thoughts on Dynamic Scoring: Live from DuPont Circle: Last Thursday two of the smartest participants at the Brookings Panel on Economic Activity conference—Martin Feldstein and Glenn Hubbard—claimed marvelous things from the enactment of JEB!'s proposed tax cuts and his regulatory reform program. They claimed:

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Greg Mankiw... Sigh: The Inestimable Value of the Samuelsonian Triad

Greg: Ahem! DRAW THE GRAPH! Please...

Greg Mankiw: Paul Krugman... Sigh: "Paul says I have never admitted to making a math error. Well, I would if I thought I made such an error. I make them all the time. But in this case I am not convinced. Neither is University of Chicago professor Casey Mulligan, who thinks Paul made a math error. I spoke with several other economists (some of whom share Paul's politics) and they don't see Paul's point either..."

It's probably no use, given my lack of success here with:

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In Which I Find Myself Not So Much Pro-Nancy MacLean as Anti-Anti-Obvious and True Things Nancy MacLean Wrote..

Negroes

Losing friends on Twitter: What can I do here? What should I have done differently?

It is a matter of basic empirical historical fact that to a typical upper class white Virginian in the 1950s, "individual liberty" included, as principal and basic parts, the liberties:

  • not to be bullied by unions into paying your workers higher wages.
  • not to be forced by the federal government into integrating either state or state-funded services, or especially public accommodations.
  • not to be forced to join and then taxed to pay for a Social Security program.

Empirical fact. Historical fact. A seamless web of "individual liberty". These were among its principal components.

To deny that these were (a large) part of what "individual liberty" meant to a typical upper class white Virginian in the 1950s—to claim that you need "textual evidence" proving that this was how any particular one thought, for the "belief" that this was the case is a "slender reed"—that is a truly remarkable hill to choose to die on:

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Do Not Expect too Much from Individual Senators

Clown Car

Joseph Britt: @zathras3 on Twitter:Thread by @de1ong in response to an observation I made about @SenBobCorker & the Senate #TaxBill-it understates resources available to a senior Senator, but is dead accurate on damage to the Senate done by McConnell trashing Regular Order.

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How to Be an Unprofessional Republican Economist in Four Easy Steps...

Clown Car

Another day passes without any of the Unprofessional Republican Economists—not the nine, not the three, not the hundred-odd—with the exception of Jagdish Bhagwati—even emitting a peep about how the tax "reform" bill will not, in fact, pay for itself, and will raise the national debt above the appropriate counterfactual baseline...

It is worth reiterating just how unprofessional this has been. The authors take the following logical steps in constructing their argument:

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Gains from Trade: Is Comparative Advantage the Ideology of the Comparatively Advantaged?

And the video from October is up:

INET Edinburgh Panel: Gains from Trade: Is Comparative Advantage the Ideology of the Comparatively Advantaged?:


My notes and slides:

Ricardo's Big Idea, and Its Vicissitudes

https://www.icloud.com/keynote/0QMFGpAUFCjqhdfLULfDbLE4g

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(Early) Monday Smackdown: Tax Reform Intellectual Garbage Cleanup Edition

Clown Car

Live from Souvenir on Claremont: (Early) Monday Smackdown: Tax Reform Intellectual Garbage Cleanup Edition:

1) I am informed—by "persons who say they are familiar with the matter"—that Barro, Boskin, Cogan, Holtz-Eakin, Hubbard, Lindsey, Rosen, Shultz, and Taylor are not lying when they say on Wednesday "we did not offer claims about the speed of adjustment to a long-run result...." even though the previous Saturday they had written about a raise in "the level of GDP in the long run by just over 4%. If achieved over a decade, the associated increase in the annual rate of GDP growth would be about 0.4% per year..."

Why aren't they lying on Wednesday?

Because the "if" does not mean: "it could be the case that..."

Instead, the "if" means: "for illustrative purposes, if you have trouble converting from changes in levels to growth rates, as an illustrative example, suppose that in a counterfactual world (which is definitely not this world)..."

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Economics as a Professional Vocation

Real GDP Growth Rate

Should-Read: The very sharp Binyamin Applebaum had an interesting rant yesterday: Binyamin Applebaum: @BCAppelbaum on Twitter: "I am not sure there is a defensible case for the discipline of macroeconomics if they can’t at least agree on the ground rules for evaluating tax policy...

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Technocracy at Bay: No Longer Fresh at Project Syndicate

Alice Rivlin

Project Syndicate: Keeping US Policymaking Honest: Last month here at Berkeley I heard great optimism from the illustrious Alice Rivlin. What “technocracy” in the good sense the United States has—what respect is paid to sound analysis and empirical evidence in the making of policy—is due more to Alice Rivlin than to any other living human.

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Madmen in the Attic: Hoisted from the Archives from 2006

Collectivization

No, this is not about Martin Peretz...

2006: Madmen in the Attic...: Here Mark Thoma watches Tony Giddens in the Guardian discourse on conditions for a 'revival of sociology.' I listen for a while, and then I want to sidle quietly away before I am noticed:

Economist's View: Did Economics Crowd Out Sociology?: A call to arms, by Anthony Giddens, Commentary, The Guardian:

All you sociologists out there! All you ex-students of sociology! All of you (if there are such people) who are simply interested in sociology and its future! I'd like to hear from you. We live in a world of extraordinary change, in everyday life, family relationships, politics, communications and in global society. We are witnessing, among other things, a return of the gods, as religion re-emerges as a major force in our societies, locally and on a worldwide level.... [W]hy isn't sociology again right at the forefront of intellectual life and public debate?...

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Monday Smackdown: Nine Republican Economists Being Unprofessional on Tax Reform Edition

JCT Tax Changes 2027

First of all, note that nine and only nine would sign on to this letter.

That is not a large number.

Second, note that they do not analyze the deficit-increasing tax bill on display, but rather something else:

Robert J. Barro, Michael J. Boskin, John Cogan, Douglas Holtz-Eakin, Glenn Hubbard, Lawrence B. Lindsey, Harvey S. Rosen, George P. Shultz, and John. B. Taylor: How Tax Reform Will Lift the Economy: "In the foregoing analysis, we assumed a revenue-neutral corporate tax change...

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You Just Cannot Be an Honest Neoclassical Economist and Make the Trumpublican Tax "Reform" a Winner for U.S. National Income Growth...

...or, especially, after-tax real median growth. Or even 2%-ile income growth. Let alone well-being after cuts in public services.

You just can't. It doesn't add up at any level. As a matter of arithmetic...

Just too much of existing capital income flows to foreigners. Too much of extra production generated by a capital inflow would be credited to foreigners. And domestic savings supply is relatively inelastic. Even if you put both hands on the scale and lean hard, it just doesn't work, even without noting how much of payments to capital are monopoly rents and payments to other forms of capital that are not interest sensitive...

And Paul Krugman has been on fire this fall:

Figure 2 Accurate Diagram

(Plus the salmon (on my machine) rectangle, minus the... what color is that? (on my machine) brownish-gold rectangle—that's the long-run change in U.S. national income from a budget neutral tax "reform" like that Trumpublicans are proposing. The effects of a deficit-increasing one are... less favorable.)

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The Page Which All Discussion of the Trumpublican Tax... "Reform"? "Cut"? "Giveway"? Should Start from...

Information from the very sharp Eric Toder: The House Ways and Means Tax Bill Would Raise the National Debt to 123 percent of GDP by 2037: "The Tax Policy Center estimates that the House Ways and Means Committee’s version of the Tax Cut and Jobs Act (TCJA)...

...over the first decade... increases the deficit by 1.7 trillion dollars.... Between 2028 and 2037, the TCJA would reduce net receipts by 1.6 trillion dollars and add 920 billion dollars in additional interest costs. Over the entire 20-year period, the combination of reduced revenues and higher interest payments would raise the federal debt held by the public by 4.2 trillion dollars...

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Notes on Mark Koyama on Rome on Medium...

Hadrian s Tomb

Mark Koyama: Could Rome Have Had an Industrial Revolution?/span>


The Malthusian Epoch and Its End

The agrarian age Malthusian epoch in human economic-demographic history had three principal driving characteristics:

  1. Technological and organizational advance was slow and stable relative to movements in population.

  2. Standards of living wer near "subsistence", in that increases in living standards produced increases in population growth, and decreases in living standards declines.

  3. Resources were important, inasmuch as average productivity declined with increasing population, adjusting for the state of technology and organization.

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Sustainable Development Goals: No Longer Fresh at Project Syndicate

Politics in the Way of Progress by J Bradford DeLong Project Syndicate

Politics in the Way of Progress: The seventeen—seventeen!—sustainable development goals are: No Poverty, Zero Hunger, Good Health and Well-being, Quality Education, Gender Equality, Clean Water and Sanitation, Affordable and Clean Energy, Decent Work and Economic Growth, Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure, Reduced Inequalities, Sustainable Cities and Communities, Responsible Consumption and Production, Climate Action, Life Below Water, Life on Land, Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions, and "Partnerships for the Goals https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sustainable_Development_Goals.

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When Globalization is Public Enemy Number One: At the Milken Review

At the Milken Review: When Globalization is Public Enemy Number One: The first 30 years after World War II saw the recovery and reintegration of the world economy (the “Thirty Glorious Years,” in the words of French economist Jean Fourastié). Yet after a troubled decade—one in which oil shocks, inflation, near-depression and asset bubbles temporarily left us demoralized—the subsequent 33 years (1984-2007) of perky growth and stable prices were even more impressive... Read MOAR at Milken Review


Another Question I Didn't Have Time to Ask Ask Alice Rivlin: Possibilities for Technocracy

Alice Rivlin

You said that technocracy was still possible because there was still substantial agreement on models—and as an example you pointed out that there used to be strong disagreements about monetary policy and whether policy should be made by a "rule", and now there isn't much of anybody who thinks so.

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A Question I Will Not Have Time to Ask Alice Rivlin This Afternoon...

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Alice Rivlin is speaking this afternoon at Berkeley's GSPP in honor of John Ellwood's retirement on EVIDENCE AND POLICY ANALYSIS IN THE AGE OF FAKE NEWS. A question I will not have time to ask:

Alice, I listen to you, and I think of Irving Kristol, who explained his “rather cavalier attitude” to technocratic questions of what economic policies would actually do thus:

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Basic Econ 1-Level Tax Incidence Primer: Owen Zidar Requests MOAR Tax Incidence Model Blogging

Invocation

Over on the Twitter machine, the learned and incredibly sharp Owen Zidar writes, about the picky model-based incidence analysis points:

@omzidar: On Twitter: The number of tweets needed to describe this issue suggest more clarification/ a detailed step by step post would be useful...

My view is that in the end all this—Krugman (2017b) and (2017a); DeLong (2017d), (2017c), (2017b), and (2017a); Bernstein (2017); Furman (2017); and Mankiw (2017)—when unpacked, boils down to Econ 1-level tax incidence, and an algebraic mistake in calculating overelaborated and overcomplicated versions thereof.

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What Is a "Static" Revenue Analysis?

I seem to have a disagreement with Jason Furman here:

@paulkrugman: Brad is right here: Mankiw et al have clearly made a math error

@jasonfurman: Not seeing the math error. Mankiw said static. His soln is right for static (defined as unchanged base)... And dynamic version is higher.

I was taught the definition of "static" by the Jedi Masters at OTA in the early 1990s...

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Ricardo's Big Idea, and Its Vicissitudes

Port of amsterdam Google Search

INET Edinburgh Comparative Advantage Panel

Panel: Gains from Trade: Is Comparative Advantage the Ideology of the Comparatively Advantaged?:


Ricardo's Big Idea, and Its Vicissitudes

https://www.icloud.com/keynote/0QMFGpAUFCjqhdfLULfDbLE4g

Ricardo believes in labor value prices because capital flows to put people to work wherever those things can be made with the fewest workers. This poses a problem for Ricardo: The LTV tells him that capitalist production should take place according to absolute advantage, with those living in countries with no absolute advantage left in subsistence agriculture.

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Early (Monday) Circular DeLong Smackdown Squad...

Flying attack monkeys Google Search

I have just spent four hours on a plane to Edinburgh—four hours when I should have been sleeping—chasing my own analytic tail in a counterproductive way.

It was me demonstrating that I am indeed a Bear of Very Little Brain in ways too numerous to enumerate...

It started when I ran across an excellent twitter thread from Jason Furman:

Some talk lately of Ramsey models and their implications for wage increases under the Unified Framework (warning: irrelevant nerdy thread)...

In the middle of saying a number of smart things, Jason said something that confused me—that a calculation comparing Ramsey model steady—states suggested that a 200b corp tax cut [would bring a] 300b wage increase", at least in "Greg Mankiw’s toy example", which Jason wanted to "stipulate... is right..."

I did not understand where such a conclusion could come from.

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Politics in the Way of Progress: Live Over at Project Syndicate

Il Quarto Stato un icona dei lavoratori Patria Indipendente

Live at Project Syndicate: Politics in the Way of Progress https://www.project-syndicate.org/commentary/populist-politics-block-development-goals-by-j--bradford-delong-2017-10: BERKELEY – There are 17 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which aim to tackle problems including poverty, hunger, disease, inequality, climate change, ecological degradation, and many others in between. Clearly, 17 is too many. As Frederick the Great supposedly said, “He who defends everything defends nothing.” Similarly, those who emphasize everything emphasize nothing.

This points to the problem of forging goals through consensus: they can end up being a wish list for everything short of heaven on Earth. But, to be effective, goals should operate like turnpikes, which allow you to make progress toward a specific destination much faster than if you had taken the scenic route. The purpose of consensus building, then, should be to get us to the on-ramp, after which it becomes harder to make a wrong turn or reverse course... Read MOAR at Project Syndicate