unpaid thoughts on the dismal science

Friday, August 09, 2002  
Good news: "Economic freedom still rising worldwide". The good news is based on an assessment by James Gwartney of Florida State University & Robert Lawson of Capital University and is available online here.
11:45 AM

Paul Krugman discuss the Brazilian IMF bailout in his latest column, "The Lost Continent".
6:34 AM

Thursday, August 08, 2002  
Arnold Kling writes about the "new economy" and being "Rationally Exuberant".
12:12 PM

Economist David Friedman suggests a solution to e-mail spam in "Mail Me the Money!".
12:07 PM

Wednesday, August 07, 2002  
'Unnecessary attention' is Thomas Sowell's follow-up column on housing shortages.
9:32 PM

Max Sawicky responds to my earlier post where I cynically, but honestly, suggest repealing the minimum wage to increase employment. Max recommends Myth and Measurement by David Card and Alan B. Krueger along with a policy study by Bill Spriggs available from the Economic Policy Institute (not online, unfortunately) and also goes on to suggest a number of reasons why a minimum wage increase might not cause an increase in unemployment.

I haven't read the book or the study, but I was under the impression that the original study done by Card and Krueger had been thoroughly debunked by Michigan State University economist David Neumark and William Wascher, Senior Economist at the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, in their paper "The Effect of New Jersey's Minimum Wage Increase on Fast-Food Employment: A Re-Evaluation Using Payroll Records". Of course, John Schmitt of EPI had a critique of that study with "The Minimum Wage and Job Loss: Opponents of Wage Hike Find No Effect".

Snikies! Who should I believe with these dueling papers? If only Card & Krueger and Neumark & Wascher would write competing papers for the same economics journal and have the results published in the same issue, maybe we could resolve this. Hang on a sec! It looks like that's exactly what happened. "Minimum Wages and Employment: A Case Study of the Fast-food Industry in New Jersey and Pennsylvania: Comment" by David Neumark and William Wascher "Minimum Wages and Employment: A Case Study of the Fast-food Industry in New Jersey and Pennsylvania: Reply" by David Card and Alan B. Krueger both appear in the December 2000 issue of American Economic Review. Unfortunately, the text is not online.

The problem with all these studies is that they are arguments over whether small increases in the minimum wage increase unemployment. It's difficult to study the effects of my proposal, total repeal, because a federal minimum wage prevents any single state from having a minimum wage of zero.
7:57 PM

Tuesday, August 06, 2002  
Good news: "Gasoline Prices at Pump Decline for Second Week".
10:07 PM

Thomas Sowell returns to one of his favorite topics, housing prices, in "'Open space' = Housing ban".
9:37 PM

"THOSE WARM AND FUZZY ECONOMIC FUNDAMENTALS" is a recent post by Max Sawicky in which he disses Administration flacks' use of the phrase "economic fundamentals are sound." This nugget stuck out to me:
What about low inflation? Pretty much the same thing. Inflationary pressure, absent some glitch in international commodity markets, would follow from high employment and tight labor markets, which we ain't got and ought to prefer.
Well, Max, I guess that means we should repeal the minimum wage! That would lower unemployment, wouldn't it?
9:33 PM

Paul Krugman compares the Bush Administration to Orwell's 1984 in "The Memory Hole".
5:54 AM

Monday, August 05, 2002  
Maybe Krugman was right: "Economic Double-Dip Fears Rising".
12:22 PM

Is copyright law a form of corporate welfare? Maybe, according to Tom W. Bell's article, "Copy Fighting".
12:20 PM