Labor Productivity in Development

For economic geography and comparative economic systems students from Dani Rodrik: Another U-curve in economic development During the course of research my co-author Maggie McMillan and I were doing on broad patterns of structural change, our research assistant Inigo Verduzco stumbled on an interesting stylized fact that is captured in the figure below. What it … Continue reading Labor Productivity in Development

Michigan IS Wisconsin – Just Different Tactics

Rick Snyder, Michigan governor, claims "Michigan is not Wisconsin".  People take this to mean Snyder doesn't want to bust unions. That's wrong. What Snyder means is he's going to use a different strategy than Walker in Wisconsin.  Walker is a bare-knuckle street fighter. Snyder hires a hit-man. Snyder smiles, tells you what you want to … Continue reading Michigan IS Wisconsin – Just Different Tactics

4th Qtr 2010 GDP Revision

First revision to the 4th qtr 2010 GDP results are out.  I'll outsource the reporting and commentary to Mark Thoma and Ryan Avent: Fourth quarter GDP was revised downward: A disappointing day, by Ryan Avent: ...let me draw your attention to two stories... First, America's fourth quarter GDP growth has been revised down: Real gross … Continue reading 4th Qtr 2010 GDP Revision

Iceland Shows Banks Are Not Too Big To Fail

Few nations were hit harder initially by the financial crisis in 2008 than Iceland. It's economy had grown rich around four very large (relative to Iceland) banks that were players in the big global casino financial industry expansion.  In the U.S., U.K., and most other large developed countries governments responded with large bank-bailout packages.  The … Continue reading Iceland Shows Banks Are Not Too Big To Fail

Wisconsin Rolls On (Over Workers)

In the dead of the night Republicans in Wisconsin vote to end collective bargaining rights of unions who were not supportive of Governor Walker's election.  The state assembly (the lower house of the legislature) has acted while the Senate is adjourned. The Senate has been unable to convene for lack of a quorum. However, this … Continue reading Wisconsin Rolls On (Over Workers)

Where’s Obama?

The President is missing. Could we get the candidate back? The concerted effort to eliminate collective bargaining rights has spread well beyond Wisconsin.  So have the protests. Reports have protests in 38 state capitols this week, including even Montana. Heck, even the protesters in Cairo are expressing support and solidarity with the workers in Wisconsin. … Continue reading Where’s Obama?

Obsessing on Deficit When Unemployment Is 9% Is Silly

From Alan Blinder via Brad deLong (bold emphasis mine): Alan Blinder: The Economic Silly Season Is Upon Us: 'Debt ceilings' and 'job killing' spending are two dumb ideas. Obsessing on the deficit while unemployment is at 9% is another: Our country seems mired deeply in the silly season.... The silliness comes in at least four … Continue reading Obsessing on Deficit When Unemployment Is 9% Is Silly