Ed Dolan's Econ Blog

Archive for June, 2013

  • Why such a Large Downward Revision of Q1 GDP Growth?

    Today’s GDP report from the Bureau of Economic Analysis revised the estimate for Q1 growth sharply downward, from 2.4 percent to 1.8 percent. As the following chart shows, the revision makes the rebound from the slowdown at the end of last year look less robust. The early estimates for each quarter are based on incomplete […]

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  • Growth, Public Policy, and the Economics of the Good Life

    In the first part of my review of Robert and Edward Skidelsky’s How Much is Enough? I looked at the puzzle of leisure. Why, the Skidelskys ask, do we work so hard, even when we are well enough off to afford the additional leisure we need to live a good life? Beyond that follow some […]

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  • What Bothers me About NSA Data Collection: A Reply to Thomas Friedman

    Warning: This post has little to do with economics, unless you happen to think that an open society with free and private communication is essential to our continued prosperity. A series of Congressional hearings this week is drawing renewed attention to the issue of the National Security Agency’s program to collect data on telephone and […]

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  • How Much Is Enough? Why Do We Work So Much and Enjoy So Little Leisure?

    Robert Skidelsky is best known for his definitive three-volume biography of John Maynard Keynes. It hardly surprising, then, that he begins his latest book, How Much is Enough? (co-authored with his son, the philosopher Edward Skidelsky), with a puzzle posed by the master himself. Why is it that we work so many hours each week […]

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  • Venezuela on the Brink of Hyperinflation

    The Central Bank of Venezuela recently reported an inflation rate for May of 6.9 6.1 percent, equivalent to an annualized rate of more than 100 percent. Does this mean that Venezuela is on the brink of hyperinflation? A quick look at the relevant economic concepts suggests that hyperinflation is in fact a real danger. What […]

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  • Breakup of the Ruble Area (1991-1993): A Cautionary Tale for the Euro

    Good news: The euro crisis is over. At least that is how French President Francois Hollande sees it, according to remarks he made during his recent trip to Japan. Latvia’s pending entry is another piece of news for the battered currency area. Never mind minor problems like a deepening recession in many countries, unsustainable government […]

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  • Why Latvia’s Decision to Join the Euro Makes Sense

    Last week’s convergence report from the European Commission gave Latvia the green light to become the eighteenth member of the eurozone as of next January. “The eurozone is again a club with a queue–not at the exit but at the entrance,” crowed Herman Van Rompuy, president of the European Council. “Joining the eurozone will foster […]

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  • May Data Show Continued Moderate Improvement in US Labor Market

    The US labor market continued its gradual improvement in May. The economy added 175,000 new payroll jobs, somewhat more than in March and April, as shown in the following chart. Payroll job growth was strongest in service sectors, with retail trade, professional and business services, and leisure and hospitality all showing strong growth. Construction added […]

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  • Corporate Profits Soar as Proprietors’ Income Stagnates: The Decline of Small Business and what to do about it.

    Americans have long seen small businesses as the heart and soul of their economy, but small firms have not fared well in recent years. Corporations, in contrast, seem to be on a roll, with profits and stock prices soaring to record highs. Is small business really in decline, and if so, what should we do […]

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