Research Questions for Economics Graduate Students

Are you an economics graduate student casting about for dissertation topics? I have a few ideas for you. As part of the rewriting of Freedom in the 50 States, I've been reviewing the economic literature on how various public policies affect consumer and producer surplus, deadweight loss, and so on. We use an estimate of … Continue reading Research Questions for Economics Graduate Students

Expanding Opportunity in Oklahoma: Video Up

Video of last week's panel discussion of "Expanding Opportunity in Oklahoma," sponsored by the Charles Koch Institute and the Oklahoma Council of Public Affairs, is now up. Things got rather feisty among the three Oklahomans (two progressives and a conservative). I tried to play peacemaker on occasion. P.S. I did not get any Koch money … Continue reading Expanding Opportunity in Oklahoma: Video Up

The GOP: Getting Serious About Governing?

I have noted before that the contemporary GOP seemed to be AWOL in the war of ideas, citing John Boehner’s recent remarks in Cleveland as exhibit A. Now it appears that the GOP is attempting to shake its recent label as the “Party of No” by releasing a 20 page document entitled A Pledge to … Continue reading The GOP: Getting Serious About Governing?

The Poverty Rate: Clearly We Are Doing Something Wrong

The headlines are ablaze with news about the new poverty statistics released by the Census  Bureau.  As Carol Morello notes in the lead to a front page story in today’s Washington Post In the second year of a brutal recession, the ranks of the American poor soared to their highest level in half a century … Continue reading The Poverty Rate: Clearly We Are Doing Something Wrong

Financial Reform: “You can’t fix what you can’t explain.”

This week, House and Senate conferees are working out the details in what will likely be the most significant financial regulatory reform in some time. Should the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau be housed in the Fed? Should the Volcker rule be universally applied? Should banks really be required to spin off their derivative activities? … Continue reading Financial Reform: “You can’t fix what you can’t explain.”

Making Sausage

This week should be remarkably interesting for those following the financial reform legislation.  Among the big issues on the table include the so-called derivatives “push out” (forcing banks to spin off their derivative trading activities) and the “Volcker rule” that would prohibit proprietary trading at banks. Silla Brush (the Hill) has a quick summary of … Continue reading Making Sausage