Weekly Roundup

Weekly Roundup

Printer-friendly version
a a
Type Size: Small

In a November 9 commentary, University of Essex economist Stephen Pudney expressed skepticism that drug legalization is a viable option at the present time because there is no regulatory system for controlling access.

In a November 8 commentary, University of Massachusetts economist Nancy Folbre urged economists to adopt a professional code of ethics. She cites an October paper by economists Gerald Epstein and Jessica Carrick-Hagenbarth, which found that many prominent economists routinely comment on matters in which they have an undisclosed financial interest.

Also on November 8, the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco published a study of unemployment. Contrary to what some economists have said, it finds no significant increase in structural unemployment and that the bulk of unemployment is cyclical.

And in a November 8 post, University of Chicago economist Roger Myerson argued that Barack Obama’s focus on health care caused him to put insufficient emphasis on financial reform. Myerson believes that effective reform of the banking system is the most important thing that could have been done to restore growth.

In a November 8 paper, Kauffman Foundation economists Harold Bradley and Robert Litan expressed concern that the popularity of exchange-trade funds, a type of indexed security, is inadvertently blocking initial public offerings by growing companies and thus blocking their access to capital.

In a November 6 commentary, economist Scott Sumner argued that there is much that free market supporters can learn from the Nordic countries.

A November 3 study from the Harvard Business School found that increased competition in the credit rating industry led to a decline in the quality of ratings; i.e., overrating the quality of securities. A key reason is that since the 1970s, issuers of securities rather than buyers have paid for ratings.

Also on November 3, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development published a forecast estimating a slight decline in growth in 2011 in the U.S. and throughout the OECD.

A November 2 report from Bloomberg reporter Ryan Donmoyer revealed that a mistake by the Social Security Administration overstated its estimate of 2009 wage income by more than $32 billion.

According to an October 29 YouGov/Polimetrix poll, the average American thinks that 17 percent of the population makes more than $250,000 per year. In fact, less than 3 percent make that much. The poll also found that the higher the percentage people guessed the more likely they were to vote Republican.

An October 29 report from the Brookings Institution examined problems with the quality of federal labor statistics and made suggestions for improvement. Shorter version here.

A September 3 working paper by Claremont economist Heather Antecol found little support for the theory that highly educated women were withdrawing from the labor force to care for their families, often called the opt-out revolution.

Bruce Bartlett is an American historian and columnist who focuses on the intersection between politics and economics. He blogs daily  and writes a weekly column at The Fiscal Times. Read his most recent column here. Bartlett has written for Forbes Magazine and Creators Syndicate, and his work is informed by many years in government, including as a senior policy analyst in the Reagan White House. He is the author of seven books including the New York Times best-seller, Impostor: How George W. Bush Bankrupted America and Betrayed the Reagan Legacy (Doubleday, 2006).

Bruce Bartlett’s columns focus on the intersection of politics and economics. The author of seven books, he worked in government for many years and was senior policy analyst in the Reagan White House.