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Tag Archives: labor market

Strong Jobs Creates Buying in Gold? Is All the Bad News Priced In?

October jobs came in at 531k, finally beating expectations with strength shown across the board. Furthermore, August and September were both revised upwards by over 100k. ‘Perhaps even more surprising is the early reaction in the gold/silver market. More on this below.This next chart compares the current month with the trailing 12-month average. A few key takeaways:Every category is above the 12-month average except for Government and Leisure/HospitalityMost categories are well above...

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Chris Jehn on Colin Powell on AVF versus Draft

Today I received an email from a friend, Christopher Jehn. We became friends at a party at Richard Thaler’s house in Rochester in the fall of 1977 when we learned that we were strong allies on the fight to keep the all-volunteer force (AVF) and avoid returning to the draft. We have kept in touch on these issues since. Our views on foreign policy are very different but our views on the draft are very similar. Chris was the assistant secretary of defense for force...

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Highlights from the Nobel Committee Report

In the last 10 years or so, when the Nobel Committee announces the winner of the Nobel Prize in Economic Science, it also simultaneously release a lengthy document, obviously written by an informed economist or informed economists, presenting and explaining in detail the work of the winners. That document always helps me write my op/ed for the Wall Street Journal. This year was no exception. I actually thought the document this year was better than average. I...

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Outtakes from my Nobel Article

The editor at the Wall Street Journal cut more meat than usual from my op/ed on the Nobel Prize winners. This isn’t a criticism. The Journal has its constraints and the editor told me that the piece needed to be shortened to fit on the page. I would rather have a short article than no article. Still, I think many readers might find what was cut interesting. So here, I’ll post the relevant paragraphs. Then I’ll post a criticism of the Card/Krueger study on the minimum...

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New Evidence: The Expanded Child Tax Credit’s Disincentives

In my previous post, I described how budget gimmicks prevent politicians from having to explain whether or not the policies they push are pushing desirable social and financial objectives. Here is a good example. Two weeks ago, I wrote about the serious problem with Congress’s attempt to expand the child tax credit. Well, new evidence suggests that opponents of the programs are correct about its short and long term consequences, which go beyond its $1.6 trillion cost...

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When forecasts don’t pan out

There’s no shame in making forecasts that prove inaccurate; I’ve done so many times. Nonetheless, it is useful to try to figure out why a particular forecast didn’t pan out. Stephen Rose has a paper on the effects of trade on the US economy, which contained this observation: [T]he notion that the United States can continue to run trade deficits is incomprehensible for many people. In 1988, Harvard finance professor Benjamin Friedman in his book Day of Reckoning wrote...

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Another Big Jobs Miss: All But Two Categories Are Below The 12-Month Trend

For the second month in a row, the jobs numbers in September came in well below expectations.The Labor Department reported an increase of only 194,000 jobs, well below the estimated 500,000. The big miss was similar to August’s report.Despite the unemployment rate ticking down to 4.8% from 5.2% and an upward August revision of 131,000 jobs, this is the weakest jobs report since January.This next chart compares the current month with the trailing 12-month average. A few key...

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Casey Mulligan Reads the Bill

Casey has gone and done it again and I learn something new about James Tobin. His solution was radical: he actually read the bills. Mulligan printed out the relevant section of one highly touted Medicare for All bill and carried it around so that he could disabuse fellow Trump administration officials who thought he exaggerated. One person who listened was Donald Trump. When Trump publicly claimed that Medicare for All would ban private insurance, CNN’s White House...

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Haitian Assimilation

David J. Bier, a research fellow at the Cato Institute who has built an expertise in immigration issues over the last few years, has an outstanding post today titled “Haitians Assimilate Well in the United States,” Cato at Liberty, October 4. He applies a data howitzer to the issue, laying out fact after fact that make his case. Here are a few. Language assimilation of Haitian immigrants: more than two thirds of Haitians above the age of 25 do not speak English well...

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Eric Posner on Monopsony

I recently criticized Don Boudreaux’s two major arguments against legal scholar Eric Posner’s claim that monopsony in U.S. labor markets is widespread. But I do agree with Don that Posner’s case is defective. Posner writes: Economic theory says that when a pool of workers has only one potential employer, or a small number of potential employers, those workers will be paid below-market wages. Actually, economic theory doesn’t say that. I’ll put aside the quibble that...

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